A mentally ill elderly man has been detained indefinitely after he was convicted of manslaughter for strangling his partner.

Stanley Jamieson, 83, had a long history of depression and anxiety before he killed 70 year-old Indra Tharmananthan at their home in South Norwood, the Old Bailey heard.

She was found dead in their home on April 13, wedged between the armchair and the living room door.

The court heard the pair met in Sri Lanka in the 1980s and moved in together in Croydon in the 1990s when both of their marriages broke up.

Mrs Tharmananthan had been involved in an unhappy marriage and Jamieson’s had ended after one of his daughters committed suicide in 1983.

The father of four was referred to a psychiatrist after the tragedy and was detained in a psychiatric unit for a few days, being treated for depression until 1988.

The court heard he had a deep fear of being sectioned and refused to seek help for his deteriorating mental condition.

He was described to the jury as being “dominant, bossy and controlling” in his relationship with Mrs Tharmananthan, referring to her as his housekeeper and treating her as subservient.

Despite this, she was “intensely loyal” to him and worked to hide his psychiatric difficulties.

The victim’s friends last heard from her on April 11, and became worried when they did not hear from her. One of her worried friends went to check on her and was told by Jamieson she was well but could not come to the door.

The police were alerted and discovered her lifeless body in the flat.

She had a fractured neck and rib and Jamieson initially insisted she had fallen down the stairs but later admitted to doctors he had killed her. He refused to give any details.

It is thought he strangled her with the cord of a steam iron as his DNA was found on one in the house.

A jury convicted the father, in his absence, on the grounds of diminished responsibility on Wednesday.

Judge Richard Hone ordered the pensioner to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act 1983.

He told the court: "It is a terribly sad case with tragic consequences.” He said Jamieson needed treatment and hospital supervision so his condition does not get “out of control” again.