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Prosecutor said ex-Royal Marine had probably placed his wife Anna in a choke hold that he had knowledge of from his military training

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Searle with Nigel Farage

A former UKIP councillor who strangled his wife has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ex-Royal Marine Stephen Searle claimed his wife Anna had attacked him with a knife at their home in Suffolk some months after she discovered he had an affair with their son’s partner.

The 64-year-old said he acted in self-defence but jurors at Ipswich Crown Court took just over three hours to find him guilty of murder.

Jailing Searle for life with a minimum term of 14 years, the Honourable Mr Justice Green, said: “Your actions have caused devastating waves of pain and anguish to crash through your entire family.”

Searle, who had been married for 45 years, looked straight ahead and showed no reaction as his fate was read out.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Searle had probably placed his wife in a choke hold that he had knowledge of from his military training.

He told the six-day trial that the Searles’ marriage had been under strain since Ms Searle, 62, discovered her husband’s affair with their son Gary’s partner, Anastasia Pomiateeva, who was mother to at least one of their grandchildren, around June 2017.

In a 999 call made on 30 December last year and played to jurors, Searle told police: “I’ve just killed my wife.”

He told the court he had not tried to call an ambulance and had “just sat there like a bloody idiot”.

Officers attended their home in Stowmarket within minutes of the call made at 10.19pm, where they found Ms Searle dead.

In bodycam footage recorded by the arresting officers, Searle is heard to say “I’ve been a very naughty boy” and “everyone has their breaking point”.

Mr Jackson said there had “probably been yet another row between the two of them and in anger the defendant strangled his wife to death”.

A post-mortem examination recorded that Ms Searle died of compression of the neck.

Forensic pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift said Ms Searle would have lost consciousness after about eight to 15 seconds of pressure being applied to her neck, and death required further sustained pressure for a period of minutes.

In a victim impact statement one of Searle’s three sons, Stevie Searle, said: “Not only have I lost my mum, but because of what he’s done I’ve lost my dad too.”

The Independent

Searle with Nigel Farage

A former UKIP councillor has been found guilty of murdering his wife, after he had an affair with their son’s partner.

Stephen Searle, 64, strangled his wife Anne to death at their home in Stowmarket, Suffolk, on 30 December.

The ex-Royal Marine had denied killing Mrs Searle, 62, after she found out about the affair with Anastasia Pomiateeva.

He was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court and will be sentenced at a later date.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson previously told the court Searle had probably placed his wife in a choke hold he had knowledge of from his military training.

Searle showed no reaction as the verdict was read out following a six-day trial.

Anne Searle was found dead at the couple's home on 30 December

Anne Searle was found dead at the couple’s home on 30 December

He had previously told a jury his wife had uncovered his affair with Ms Pomiateeva, who is the mother to at least one of their grandchildren, months before she died.

Searle claimed that on the day of her death, his wife of 45 years had attacked him with a knife following an argument and was killed in the struggle that ensued.

He had told the court he did not intend to murder her, failed to call an ambulance after the attack and instead “sat there like a bloody idiot”.

But in a 999 call that was played to jurors, Searle could be heard telling police: “I’ve just killed my wife.”

It took the jury three-and-a-half hours to find him guilty of murder.

‘Considerable strain

Mr Jackson, prosecuting, told the court the discovery of the affair “would have put considerable strain on the marriage”.

A post-mortem examination recorded that Mrs Searle died of compression of the neck.

Forensic pathologist Dr Benjamin Swift said she would have lost consciousness after about eight to 15 seconds of pressure being applied to her neck, and death required further sustained pressure for a period of minutes.

Days before her death, Mrs Searle had posted a message on Facebook which said: “Happy Christmas… I hope I will still be here in 2018. We will see.”

BBC News