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Widow forced to repay pension for murdered husband

Source: El Pais - Fri 20th Apr 2012
Widow forced to repay pension for murdered husband

Social Security has refused to continue paying a 79-year-old Galician woman the 640-euro widow's pension she had been receiving for the last 25 years because was convicted of killing her husband.

She is also being forced to return over 32,000 euros she has received since January 2008.

The Pensioner was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison in 1987 after a Pontevedra court found her responsible for the death of her husband, but also ruled that she had acted in "self-defense" when her husband, a heavy drinker who had moved out of the family home 3 years before but continued to threaten and attack the woman and her 7 children, returned to the house with a gun and attempted to shoot her.

Armed with a stick and a pitchfork the woman and one of her sons set about beating the victim to 'teach him a lesson', then took him to a nearby bar and called the police. The victime died in hospital the next day.

"If he wasn't dead, I would be," she said.

The judge at the time did not recognize the excuse of 'legitimate defence', but did accept the 'extenuating circumstances' of a crime of passion. The son, who was also sentenced to 12 years, but was reprieved one year later, whilst the mother served 5 years of her sentance.

The pensioner now has 15 days to appeal the ruling, but with 3jobless sons at home she says she cannot afford to repay the money.

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