A SENIOR university lecturer was ordered to be detained under the mental health act after admitting stabbing his wife to death at their home on the Lizard Peninsula in February.

Colin Obray, 63, inflicted multiple stab wounds on his wife Anne, 60, at their bungalow in Ledra Close, Cadgwith. They had previously lived in Porthleven in a new housing development.

Mentally-ill Obray pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility when he appeared before Exeter Crown Court.

He was made the subject of a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act by Judge Graham Cottle.

Det Sgt Malcolm Read, who investigated the case, said it was a very tragic incident.

"He stabbed his wife and then rang the police to say what he had done," he said. "She suffered multiple wounds. He is suffering from mental health problems."

Mr Obray was a retired senior lecturer who taught statistics at Warwick University. Mrs Obray was also a teacher. Det Sgt Read said: "They had three daughters who are all professional people. One works in the City of London and another is a pharmacist. They are a very intelligent family. The daughters are coming to terms with effectively losing both their parents." The Obrays had moved to Cornwall but had not settled very well, moving house several times before finally settling in Cadgwith a few months before Mrs Obray's death.

"The hospital was treating him. Mrs Obray wanted him back home and in the community. This attack was a one-off. What happened was tragic."

Obray's plea of manslaughter was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Psychiatrists will determine when Obray should be released. He is being detained at the Butler Clinic in Dawlish, Devon.

Residents in Cadgwith were shocked by the death of Mrs Obray. The normally tranquil peace of the village was shattered when police arrived and cordoned off the hillside bungalow in Ledra Close.