Nundkumaran Poonusamy Pillay with his attorney Pragasen Marimuthu. Picture: Charlene Somduth

Durban - The Phoenix great-grandfather who pleaded guilty to slitting his bedridden's wife throat has escaped jail time. 

Durban High Court Judge Shyam Gyanda handed down a five-year wholly suspended sentence to convicted killer Nundkumaran Poonusamy Pillay, 64. 

Pillay pleaded guilty to slitting his common-law wife Dhunalutchmee Naidoo's throat. Naidoo was 69 years old. 

Her body was found in her Eastbury home on April 8. 

In his plea statement read out in court by his legal aid attorney, Pragasen Marimuthu, he states that on the day of the murder his wife told him that she did not want to live like how they were living and begged for him to kill her. 

He said he first tried to suffocate her and when that didn't work took a kitchen knife and stabbed her. 

Investigating officer Pat Moodley with Nundkumaran Poonusamy Pillay moments after sentencing in the Durban High Court. Video: Charlene Somduth

In passing sentence Judge Gyanda said having seen all the evidence and mitigating factors he was satisfied that Pillay recommitting such an offence was virtually non-existent. 

"He has to live with the guilt for the rest of his life and nothing this court can do will punish him further."