Divorce Hot Seat

Aug 8, 2012 by

People can react in many different ways when it comes to divorce. Some handle it in stride and move on with their lives while others can seem like they cannot handle the event at all, and may act out in various strange ways. That’s what happened in the UK recently when Andrew Castle, 61, claimed he was ”simply unable to cope” when his wife of 18 years, Margaret, asked him for a divorce, and stated he found it “overwhelming.” That’s when Andrew invited Margaret into the garage for a friendly chat to discuss their break-up. What Margaret did not know was that the chair she would be sitting in would be a divorce hot seat in more ways than one.

Andrew Castle apparently didn’t really want to discuss the divorce at all. The metal chair he asked his unwitting wife to sit in had been rigged up as a home-made electric chair. The chair was attached to an electric cable running from a 13 amp plug, and the other end hooked to an electric lamp. When switched on at the plug, the live wires to the chair would have completed a deadly circuit. Apparently Castle wanted Margaret to sit in the chair so he could knock her out with a blow to the head and then throw the switch on his grisly creation.

Instead of finalizing his divorce with his electric chair, Castle’s plan backfired and a struggle ensued when the 61-year-old Margaret resisted. Andrew managed to hit Margaret on the head several times, but she was able to escape to safety through a side door. The struggle then spilled out into the street outside the couple’s seaside bungalow in Knott End-on-Sea in Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancs, where they continued to fight until a passerby intervened and called the police. After surviving the attack Margaret was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and treated for minor head injuries. Her husband Andrew was found in the back yard with self inflicted knife wounds to his wrists that were part of a failed suicide attempt.

A subsequent court-ordered psychiatric report concluded Castle’s behavior stemmed from an obsessive compulsive disorder as well as an adjustment disorder. However, mental disorders are no excuse for attempting to kill your wife because she asked you for a divorce and after Castle admitted to attempted murder in Preston Crown Court, he was sentenced to ten years in jail.

After Margaret moved out of the couple’s former home, the senior investigating officer on the case, Detective Inspector Martin Clague, said  ”It was a distressing case. He intended to kill his wife and had set plans in place to do this. I am pleased with the result and I hope that Mrs. Castle and her family will now be able to move on. We have specially trained officers continuing to supporting Mrs. Castle and her family and will continue to do so for as long as they need it.”

Although there are many ways to deal with a spouse when they ask for a divorce, building your own electric chair to carry out an execution in the garage is not one of the best ideas a person could come up with. When one spouse is too unstable to handle the breakup of a marriage, perhaps some counseling and psychiatric therapy might be in order before anyone takes action. Sometimes just bringing up the subject of divorce can put you in the hot seat.



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