Westminster Polygraph Examiner Reviews Sugary Murder Case
Our Westminster polygraph examiner has tested several murderers during her career. Last week the case of Corinna Smith, who was jailed for murdering her husband caught her eye.
Lie detector tests
Hours before deciding to pour boiling sugar water over her 80-year-old husband, Corinna Smith booked and paid for lie detector tests, following allegations that he had abused her son and daughter sexually.
On 14 June 2020 the historical sexual abuse claims were made by her daughter, she said. The allegations led Corinna Smith to believe that her son Craig, who committed suicide in 2007, had taken his life due to the sexual abuse he had suffered. Craig was in his 20s at the time of his demise.
Lie detector tests were booked for both the daughter and Smith´s husband, Michael Baines. However, within hours of the booking, she poured boiling sugar water over her husband’s as he lay in bed ill.
Did she intend to kill?
Smith admitted that she intended to cause serious harm to her husband but not to murder him. The jury nevertheless convicted her of murder at Chester Crown Court.
Amanda Yip QC, the judge, made it clear to the jury that the sexual abuse allegations had not been proven against Michael Baines. However, it was clear that Smith believed them.
Considering the way in which Smith exacted vengeance our Westminster polygraph examiner also concluded that she had murdered him. When polygraph examinations had been booked why on earth would she not wait for them to take place?
Instead, she spent 13 minutes preparing 3 litres of boiling water into which she dissolved 3 packets of sugar. She then went to the bedroom where her husband was and poured it over him. She then cleared up the kitchen where she had created the concoction, throwing the empty sugar bags in the bin, and mopping the floor. The jury took the view that this proved premeditation to murder despite her claims that it was an act of vengeance and she had not intended to kill him.
When sugar is added to boiling water, it will cause more serious burns due to the thickened liquid sticking to the skin. In prisons, it is commonly referred to as “napalm” and a method often used to cause serious harm to inmates.
This is not a common method that women generally use to kill people so how did Corinna Smith come up with the idea? Unless she was a jam maker it seems very odd. Is there something we don’t know about her background?
After the attack
Smith left the house after the attack and went to a neighbour’s house 8 doors away. She didn’t know the neighbour well. Since it was midnight, the neighbour was in bed but got up to find a distraught Smith on the doorstep. She sobbed “”I’ve hurt him, I’ve hurt him really bad, I think I’ve killed him.”
When the police arrived, she told them “”He touched my children.”
Sentenced to life imprisonment last week, Smith will serve a minimum of 12 years.
As UK polygraph examiners, we deal with a lot of false allegation cases. We don´t know whether the allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Baines are true.
What Smith did deprived the alleged victims of a trial and justice if the allegations are true. It has also caused immeasurable harm to his family, some of whom do not believe the claims.
As sponsors of the Maggie Oliver Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting those who have suffered sexual abuse, we offer the daughter a lie detector test since family members who don’t believe her allegations may feel resentful toward her.
Allegations need to be proven. Taking the law into your own hands is never the answer, as Corinna Smith has learned to her cost.
Image: Google Images of Highfield Road, Neston Cheshire where the murder took place.