THE family doctor was so concerned for a woman's safety he warned her to keep "dangerous weapons" away from her mentally disturbed husband but she was unprepared for what happened one Saturday night.

George and Charlotte Kinchinton had led separate lives for 18 months, she living at Moorgreen while he lodged in West End.

But as she went to bring in some cows, she saw her husband leaning against a gate. He suddenly grabbed her, menacing: "I have come to see whether we should live together or die together."

She pleaded with him to let her go so she could bring a cow in, but as soon as he released her, he grabbed her hand and they walked side by side towards the herd.

But 100 yards later, his mood abruptly changed and putting his left hand on her forehead and his knee behind her, he drew his right hand across her throat which began bleeding profusely.

She screamed "Good gracious, George, let us live together," to which he could only cry out: "It is no use now, my body is broken."

A neighbour by chance approached and Mrs Kinchinton grabbing her bonnet and shawl, shouted : "He has cut my throat. I am so faint I know nothing more. I cannot live with him. He has led me such a life."

Kinchinton meekly surrendered to the police, producing a bloodstained knife and admitting he had intended to kill her.

Less than two months later, the 44-year-old appeared at Hampshire Assizes on December 3,1858, charged with cutting and wounding his wife with intent to kill and murder her.

The facts were not in dispute, the only issue being his state of mind.

Doctor John Orsborne, who practised at Bitterne, said he had inserted one stitch on a half inch deep cut on the lower side of the throat, and though the wound had bled copiously, it was not of a serious nature.

The surgeon then said of her husband: "I have treated him and believe him to be of an unsound mind. I had told his wife to keep dangerous weapons out of his way. I once attended him when he tried to hang himself and I told the magistrates he was insane."

Mr Justice Byles directed the jury that if they believed he was, they should accordingly acquit him and he would kept in confinement for an unspecified time.

Jury concurred and Kinchinton was led away.