A south Warwickshire television location manager who killed his wife with a single blow during a trivial argument following a dinner party has been jailed for 18 months.
Jonathan Wicks, of Stourton, who had worked on several hit shows including the BBC's Holby City, was convicted of manslaughter by a jury at Warwick Crown Court following a four-day trial in May.
The trial was told that Wicks had argued with his wife Sarah about several issues before the fatal incident, including an "overcooked" joint of beef which had been prepared for guests.
Sentencing the 48-year-old at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said the offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified.
Wicks, who was allowed to remain seated as sentence was handed down, had denied the manslaughter of his wife, claiming to have acted in self-defence after she threw plates at him. Mrs Wicks, 49, died in May last year after suffering a ruptured artery in her neck at the couple's home at The Old Chapel, Stourton.
Passing sentence, Judge Griffith-Jones told Wicks: "You are a man of hitherto good character who has led a respectable and successful life.
"That success encompassed what I believe to be a loving and harmonious domestic life that was brought to a tragic end during a tiff between you and your much-loved wife, which resulted in a blow from you which in many other instances would have caused bruising, but in this instance caused her death."
Wicks, who has already served 110 days in custody on remand, listened intently as the judge added: "It is an important feature of this case that the argument arose very quickly and in your own home. This is not a case of the sort of yobbish violence in public which is so often a feature of one-blow manslaughter cases."
Prior to sentence, David Howker, QC, said his client had struck one blow of moderate force during a trivial argument at the end of what was an otherwise pleasant lunch.
Mr Howker told the court in mitigation: "It's plain from the evidence that the court heard in the trial, that the defendant and his wife were a devoted, loving couple.
"There is not a shred of evidence or even a hint to suggest... any kind of violence in the history of the marriage."
The prosecution at Wicks' trial did not suggest that he had intended to kill his wife, but a jury of eight women and four men accepted the Crown's claim that he acted unlawfully in punching or slapping her.