Catering equipment recruiter to face life sentence for killing wife

Peter-Hartshorne-Jones crop
Former catering equipment sector recruiter Peter Hartshorne-Jones will spend the next decade behind bars for killing his wife.

Former catering equipment sector recruiter Peter Hartshorne-Jones has been given a life sentence for the manslaughter of his 42-year-old wife Silke at their farmhouse in Suffolk.

He was initially informed that he would need to serve a minimum of 8 years before any consideration could be given to his early release on parole.

However, he has now been told that he will need to serve an extra 3 years of his sentence before he may be eligible for parole.

Story continues below

Local news outlet the Ipswich Star reported that the term has been extended by an additional 32 months after judge Martyn Levett said he had made an error in calculating the minimum term to be served by Hartshorne-Jones and amended the figure to 10 years and 8 months.

Judge Levett stressed that he wasn’t varying any part of his reasons nor the type of sentence he had decided to impose and was merely correcting a mathematical error, according to the report.

The paper said that Hartshorne-Jones, who is being treated at a medium secure psychiatric unit in Norwich, was due to have attended the hearing at Ipswich Crown Court by a video link but refused to attend because he hadn’t been informed in writing about it.

Hartshorne-Jones spent a number of years placing professionals in catering equipment sector roles during the early part of the 2000s.

He was a director of Hartshorne Associates, which he set up in 1999 to specialise solely in the catering equipment and foodservice industry.

The 52-year-old was convicted of shooting and killing his wife at their home in the village of Barham in May 2020.

A Home Office post-mortem examination concluded that Silke Hartshorne-Jones, 41, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

During the trial, the judge heard that two consultant forensic psychiatrists who assessed Hartshorne-Jones in prison and had access to evidence from the investigation concluded that at the time of the attack he had an abnormality of mental functioning, which provides an explanation for his conduct in killing his wife.

Hartshorne-Jones was initially charged with murder, however this was dropped after prosecutors accepted his plea of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

Previously, the court heard that his mental state deteriorated during the first coronavirus lockdown, and that he contacted health professionals 26 times, convinced he had contracted Covid.

He had also held a shotgun licence and a certificate to sell firearms, despite suffering from depression for many years.

Prosecutor Peter Gair said during the trial that Mrs Hartshorne-Jones told a neighbour days before she died that her husband “was not good at all and she was finding it difficult”. The court was then told he became upset with her for dropping tissues in the house.

Detective inspector Karl Nightingale, the senior investigating officer, said: “The killing of Silke has left family members, friends and colleagues devastated beyond comprehension. Many lives have truly been changed; none more so than the children of Mr and Mrs Hartshorne-Jones.

“The evidence of the consultant forensic psychiatrists resulted in the acceptance of this being manslaughter. What occurred in the early hours of Sunday 3 May 2020 at that family home is unthinkable. Hopefully Mr Hartshorne-Jones’ treatment will enable him to fully comprehend what he has done, the dreadful consequences of it, and then finally show some responsibility and remorse.”

Tags : crimeHartshorne Associatesmurder
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

Leave a Response