A Frenchman went on trial Tuesday for murdering his wife of nearly 50 years after her condition worsened from Alzheimer's, but he did not claim it was a mercy killing.
Gabriel Armandou said he attacked his spouse Paulette on September 2008 at their home in Fresnes, south of Paris, after something in him snapped that day.
"It was the most difficult day of my life and I don't understand what happened to me," the 79-year-old said as his trial opened in the Parisian suburb of Creteil.
"I am not denying anything. I take responsibility. She loved me, we loved each other. I don't know why I did that," he said.
Armandou faces 20 years imprisonment for the murder and has said he "cracked" under pressure.
His wife had been suffering from Alzheimer's for eight years and her condition had sharply deteriorated in the three months prior to the murder.
Paulette Armandou was found nearly naked in the living room with multiple injuries and bruises. Her face was swollen and a blood-stained floor mop was found nearby.
A post-mortem report said she had been hit on the head, neck, chest and back.
Armandou's lawyer Arnaud Richard said he had "promised his wife that he would care for her to the end," but found himself sinking deeper and deeper into depression.
"It weighed him down", he said, adding: "They are from a generation which does not believe in seeking help from outside."