While the wife versus mother-in-law struggle is something of a stereotype, it appears all too real in Truro, Cornwell where Andrew Salmon was mourning the loss of his mother. The death of his mother was bad enough, Salmon insisted, without his wife’s mocking her death by constantly singing “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”. He notably did not respond as did Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: “You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!” Instead, he responded by locking her in a shed — resulting in his arrest for assault.
Andrew Salmon admitted that he snapped after listening to the mocking renditions of the Wizard of Oz song from his wife Beverley Salmon. When she returned home, she found her belongings in bags outside of the house and the house itself locked with the curtains drawn. Andrew reportedly told her that “It is my house now. You are not getting in.” He then locked her in the garden shed but Mrs. Salmon proved as nimble as Toto and jumped out of a small window. At that point, Andrew allegedly punched his wife, dragged her by her legs and pinned her on a bed.
He blamed the song and insisted “I was provoked but I am sorry for what I have done to my wife and regret everything I did. I was pushed towards it although I should not have done it.”
That is something short of an insanity defense I would think. It would make for an interesting plea given the period of grieving but the careful exclusion of the wife from the home and the long series of violent reactions leave little beyond a plea for mercy. He is left in the same position as another character from the movie:
Dorothy: How do you talk if you don’t have a brain?
Scarecrow: Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don’t they?