Posted on July 19, 2005

Man Killed Wife ‘Before She Sold Him’

Stewart Payne, Telegraph (London), July 15

An African tribal elder who married an English woman killed her with an iron bar because he feared she was planning to trade him in for a car, a court heard yesterday.

Linda Hien, 53, from Buckfastleigh, Devon, had spent seven weeks in her husband’s village in Burkina Faso, where he was a respected healer. Mrs Hien, née MacDonald, met her husband Hibiekoun, 54, during one of many visits to west Africa to pursue her interest in medicine.

They married last August despite not being able to speak each other’s language and came to Britain to work as spiritual healers.

Geoffrey Mercer, prosecuting, told Exeter Crown Court that Hien had found it hard to live in a semi-detached house and had suffered “substantial mental confusion”.

He killed his wife with two blows with the bar last October as she lay on their sofa. She suffered a fractured skull and multiple facial fractures.

He was found in pain outside the house. He told police he had hit his wife after a row and jumped out of a window.

Hien pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was jailed for five years and told he would be deported after serving his sentence.