A 95-year-old man who tried to kill his wife by bludgeoning her with a pan and a hammer in an "act of mercy" has been spared jail.

Denver Beddows admitted battering, 88-year-old Olive as she was "terrified" of ending up in a care home or a hospital in old age.

The great-grandfather attempted to kill his wife of 65 years with a lump hammer and ceramic pan on 4 February this year at their home in Warrington.

Beddows had admitted attempted murder and was handed a two-year suspended sentence at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday (25 April), with the judge saying it was "an exceptional case".

During the hearing it was stated that Beddows thought his wife was "the most beautiful woman in the world," and claimed he was acting in compassion when he committed the violent acts.

Beddows, who ran a car body repair businesses before retiring, inflicted multiple skull fractures and lacerations on his wife but she is now making "a good recovery" in hospital now.

The court heard that Olive is looking forward to be reunited with her husband who has been in custody since the incident.

The Manchester Evening News reported that the court heard that the couple's marriage was "perfect and happy" but both their physical and mental health began to decline after Beddows was involved in a car accident nine months before the assault.

Olive, who has suffered from long-term depression, had put her husband under "immense pressure" to kill her.

Anya Horwood, prosecuting, said according to the Guardian: "She became increasingly apprehensive and claimed 'they are coming to get me'.

"It would appear that the additional care required for Mrs Beddows was placing an additional strain on the defendant who resolutely refused the assistance of social services."

After his arrest Beddows told officers that he failed his wife because he had not managed to kill her in the attack.

He said: "I have made a mess of it and now she is still suffering... Why didn't she die? She is the most beautiful woman in the world and I have made it worse. I would happily be a murderer."

Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, told Beddows on sentencing: "Although this was a terrible crime the blame which attaches to you for what you did is far outweighed by the tragedy of the situation and the circumstances in which you found yourself.

"You were under immense pressure in the days leading up to your attempt to kill her and your acts were acts of last resort because you failed to persuade her that she was going nowhere."

Beddows was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for two years.