A former UK councillor, Stephen Searle, has been found guilty of murdering his wife in a disagreement over his affair with son’s girlfriend.
During the trial, the 64-year-old former Royal Marine told jurors that he put his hand round his wife, Anne Searle’s neck for 20-25 seconds after she stabbed him during an angry row at their £400,000 home in Stowmarket, Suffolk.
On December 30 last year, Searle made a call to police telling them he had killed his 62-year-old wife, before she was found dead minutes later by responding emergency services.
He says he was acting in self-defence after a row erupted about an affair Searle had been having with his son’s long-term partner, Anastasia Pomiateeva, 39.
Speaking in court, Searle said: “I felt a stinging. I looked down and I saw a blade going backwards and forwards.
“It was in Anne’s hand. She was stabbing me. I tried to grab it and she pulled her arm away. There was a lot of noise, shouting and hollering, and I was pleading with her to give me the knife.
“We both stumbled. She fell backwards and I fell forwards. It was such madness.”
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Searle had probably placed his wife in a choke hold that he had knowledge of from his military training.
Mr Jackson told the trial that the Searles’ marriage had been under strain since Mrs Searle discovered her husband’s affair with their son Gary’s partner Anastasia Pomiateeva, who was mother to at least one of their grandchildren. This was discovered around June 2017, he added.
“The prosecution case is that on that Saturday night there had probably been yet another row between the two of them and in anger the defendant strangled his wife to death,” Mr Jackson said.
A post-mortem examination recorded that Mrs Searle died of compression of the neck.
Searle is to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.
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