The brutal crowbar killing of a bed-bound woman by her husband shocked even hardended murder detectives, a top cop has admitted.
The slaying of 78-year-old Iris Griffin in the bedroom of her Isleworth home was 'upsetting' to all the officers involved in the case, according to lead investigator Det Insp Andy Manning.
But despite confessing his crime to neighbours, her 71-year-old husband, John, who was this week detained indefinitely under the mental health act, showed no remorse.
DI Manning, of the homicide and serious crime directorate, said: "We deal with a lot of murders but this one was particularly upsetting. Iris was in her bed and had suffered serious injuries to her face from being hit repeatedly with a large crow-bar.
"Her husband did seem a little dazed but nothing unusual. The investigating officers were shocked by his responses."
On August 29, 2007, Griffin killed his wife in their end-of-terrace house, in Aylett Road.
He was then spotted by neighbours in his garden after jumping from a bedroom window with a rope around his neck and told them what he had done.
Iris, who had been married to Griffin for 30 years, had been sent home from hospital after an operation for bowel cancer the day before her death.
Officers originally investigated the possibility that she may have been the victim of a violent 'mercy killing' but now insist she was doing well and her condition was not terminal.
"We understand from Griffin that he was feeling depressed and helpless in the face of his wife's illness," said DI Manning. "She had cared for him when he developed cancer the year before.
"But she was not particularly poorly and even if she had been dying no one would want to end their life the way Iris did."
Police also investigated the possibility that Iris, who showed no defensive wounds on the day of her death, had been a victim of domestic violence. But her medical records did not suggest a history of abuse.
"She was not often seen around the area," said DI Manning. "And we do not know whether she chose to stay in doors or was isolated. But neighbours who knew him said he always spoke fondly of her and there was nothing to suggest their relationship was abusive."
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said the couple had always seemed close. He added: "They did keep to themselves but they were lovely people. We were all very shocked."
Griffin pleaded guilty to Iris's manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, at the Old Bailey, on March 17 this year.
As www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk revealed last Friday he was detained under the Mental Health Act for an indeterminate length of time.
DI Manning said: "This was a tragic case but I'm pleased with the outcome. He will be locked up for the foreseeable future and will have to prove he does not pose a danger before he is released."