It has been revealed that a millionaire property developer was convicted of attacking his second wife using a wooden mallet.
Police are investigating the murder of Douglas Hellier Laing, an ex-Army soldier, over which he admitted to giving her a fatal injection.
Following his contribution to the discussion on assisted suicide, the former Tory councillor of 71 years said that he was open to accepting whatever the future brought.
After its publication, Devon and Cornwall Police stated that they have begun an investigation into homicides.
Since then, it has been revealed that Laing was imprisoned for three-years in December 2017 after striking Susan, his second wife, with a mallet.
Douglas Hellier Laing (71), admitted that he helped his ex-wife to die from terminal ovarian cancer in 1998. The Devon and Cornwall Police launched an investigation into his death. It emerged that he had been jailed for the attack on his second wife in 2017.
Laing struck her three more times, before she called police at their Exeter home.
Exeter Crown Court heard that he showed no emotion when he assaulted her October 2017, after having drunk Tia Maria and Polish vodka.
Mrs Laing was able to flee to her neighbor’s house and stated in a victim statement that she still suffered from flashbacks, and could still see the expressionless faces of his attacker as he struck me.
Laing admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous harm – after he was initially arrested for attempted murder.
When he was arrested, he was Teignbridge Council’s executive member for economy and skills. He resigned but was eventually suspended from Conservative Party.
Devon and Cornwall Police are currently investigating Christine Laing, Laing’s former wife. He admitted to injecting a deadly drug cocktail in 1998.
After her terminal ovarian carcinoma became too severe, she had told him that she was ready to die.
Laing stated that he understood the implications of injecting his wife with drugs in 1998 to cause her death and was unaffected by them.
Exeter Crown and County Court heard that Laing, who had been drinking Tia Maria and Polish vodka, attacked his second wife using a mallet.
He wrote in the October Sunday Times letter: “I’m in tears as i recall that conversation.”
“I’ve struggled with my past and I have just recently talked to family members about it.
“I was adamant that my actions would be made public in support of legalizing assisted suicide.
My wife made the courageous decision to be able to leave our two boys while she could. It also allowed her to spend a few more cuddles with them. She was then gone.
“I am aware of the consequences, and I don’t care one bit.”
Laing stated that doctors with military nursing expertise provided him the lethal drugs to save his wife’s death in hospice.
He kept the secret up until last year. Then he became a follower of Dying with Dignity in Sunday Times, which supports efforts to legalize assisted death.
Dignity in Dying supported Laing in a campaign to amend the law regarding assisted suicides. However, the charity disassociated itself from Laing after these latest revelations.
Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, stated that she would not comment further on the matter while investigations by police continue.
Laing was an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He met his first wife while she was studying nursing at a London military hospital.
He refused to comment on the death of his wife or the attack that occurred in 2017.
Devon and Cornwall Police announced that they had launched a homicide probe into the murder of a Devon woman during the 1990s. These investigations are ongoing.