Man Murdered Wife by Disabling Airbag, Crashing

Iain Lawrence unclipped her seatbelt before crashing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
Man Murdered Wife by Disabling Airbag, Crashing

An English ex-pilot has been convicted of murdering his wife by disabling her airbag, undoing her seatbelt as he drove, and moments later deliberately crashing their car into a tree at 50mph. Iain Lawrence, 53, walked away with just a few bruises; prosecutors said he got into the brace position as the car crashed. He'll serve at least 24 years in prison, Sky News reports. He was reportedly upset that his 12-year marriage was breaking up, and the couple had just argued about the divorce settlement the night prior to the October incident.

But Lawrence claimed during the trial that his leg spasmed and he couldn't hit the brakes. He also said he was not aware at the time that his wife was seeing someone else. Considering his wife had told friends she feared her husband would attempt to kill her, the judge noted, "How you got Sally into your car, and whether by trickery or force, no one but you can know. I suspect it was a combination of the two." A witness testified that Lawrence pretended to be unconscious following the crash: "It was as if a child was squeezing his eyes shut pretending to be asleep. He was squeezing but the eye was twitching." The couple has a 10-year-old son, the Mirror reports. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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