02/01/2013 03:49 pm ET

Frederick Gilliard Used A Gnome and Knife To Kill His Wife

A 76-year-old man who bludgeoned his wife to death with a garden gnome was sentenced on Friday to four years in jail, BBC News reported.

Frederick Gilliard, of Blackpool, England, told police he "just lost it" when he attacked his wife, Josephine, last year with a gnome and an 8-inch carving knife.

Lancashire Police said in a news release that Gilliard denied the original charge of murder but plead guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

According to Preston Crown Court records, Gilliard was suffering a "depressive episode" when he attacked his wife of 54 years in their bedroom.

BBC News reported that prosecutor Stuart Denney told the court that Gilliard had stopped taking his depression medication prior to the attack.

Gilliard had served in the Royal Air Force for 27 years. He and his wife had four children and three grandchildren. The gnome was themed after the carved heads on Easter Island.

"This was a tragic crime," said Detective Supt Ian Critchley in the news release, "which has left a whole family devestated by their loss."



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