An 82-year-old millionaire who killed his wife in a frenzied stabbing attack at their Warwickshire home after arguing over money has been jailed for four years.

Sentencing Kenneth Mack at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Howard Morrison QC said he had taken into account the retired industrialist had terminal prostate cancer and had an inexact but short time left to live.

He said because of the time Mack had already spent in custody on remand, it might mean that on his release from his prison sentence he would still have some months left when he came out.

Mack, of Mockley Close, Gentleman’s Lane, Ullenhall, near Henley-in-Arden, had previously admitted the manslaughter of his wife Lorraine on the grounds of provocation.

The judge said “This is a sad and traumatic case for all those involved, particularly your sons and other relatives of the deceased.”

He added however that Mack was responsible for the death of a much loved lady who was an excellent mother and generous friend.

Judge Morrison said it had been accepted that because of a stroke he had suffered causing brain damage, he had stabbed his 51-year-old wife after “perceiving” his life was under threat from her and that he had acted “compulsively” in continuing the attack.

James Burbidge QC, prosecuting, said the couple lived in a £1.8 million property with grounds with the husband’s wealth coming from an engineering firm. To the outside world they presented a devoted couple but there were tensions in the marriage which led in 2004 to them consulting lawyers about a divorce.

Matters culminated in the early hours of December 13 2006 when Lorraine Mack confronted her husband in the kitchen about an account he had opened in his sole name and also said she wanted a divorce.

According to the defendant she came at him with a knife and he had responded by picking another knife up and stabbing her a number of times.

Mr Burbidge said Mack stabbed his wife 50 times and that after going to bed, he got up and went about his normal daily business. He went to the dentist the following morning before calling the police who found the dead woman in the kitchen, partially covered by a sheet.

Richard Benson QC, defending, said Mack was a successful businessman who had enjoyed a happy marriage although money had caused problems with his wife believing he had more than he was prepared to admit.

Shortly before the killing, they were planning to go on a holiday that would have cost £25,000 but their elder son had to get psychiatric help at a clinic which had to be paid for and the holiday was cancelled.

“Mack would have had to have taken out another mortgage on their home which was of substantial value. This appears to have caused resentment and led to an argument taking place on that fateful day,” he said.

Mr Benson said Mack had been “devastated” by the loss of his wife who was someone he loved and admired.