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Divorce, British-Style

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An angry wife who took out her frustrations on her husband’s boat will have nine months in prison for reflection. Police say Mandy Fleming of Kent, England, staged a life-threatening attack on her husband’s 39-foot cruiser when she discovered he’d bought a new flatscreen TV for the vessel after claiming he was broke. The 47-year-old woman went to the docks with a cordless drill and drilled three holes in the hull of the $150,000 Double Dragon. She then opened all the gas burners on the stove in an attempt to blow it up.

The morning after Fleming’s attack, marina officials boarded the half-sunk boat to pump it out. “A volatile mixture of propane gas and air had been created and all it would have needed was for someone to turn on an electric light, or respond to a mobile phone or radio, for it to have exploded,” said prosecutor Mark Gadsden. Marina officials evacuated four people on nearby boats until the danger passed.

Fleming pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, saying she simply “lost it” when she found proof that her reportedly hard-drinking husband was gambling away the family’s money.

Her lawyer told the judge alcohol was involved. “She has little recollection of the gas being turned on,” he said in court. “She had been drinking and was worse for wear.”

Police later found an entry in Fleming’s diary that read: “Lost it, got drill and sunk boat. Now I am in sh--.” In the end, the judge showed some compassion after handing down an 18-month sentence.

“You were a manipulative, angry and troubled individual,” Judge Richard Hone said during her sentencing hearing. He ordered Fleming to serve half of her sentence in prison and half on probation. As for the woman and her husband: They divorced shortly after the boat was repaired and sold.