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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

SS 2

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

Disgraced Richard Broughan will still be able to attend meetings

Controversial councillor Richard Broughan has been banned from council premises for three months – except to attend meetings.

Members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s standards committee imposed the sanction after upholding one complaint and partially upholding a second against the Abbey Hulton and Townsend councillor.

The first complaint – which was fully upheld – related to an incident at a Stoke-on-Trent pub in October 2016.

The second complaint related to an incident at the Travellers Rest pub, in Milton, which was also upheld by the committee. But a subsequent incident at a Milton fish and chip shop was not upheld because Mr Broughan was not on council business at the time.

Mr Broughan did not attend today’s hearings and was tonight unavailable for comment.

The first complaint was lodged by Frank Buxton who described Mr Broughan as ‘intoxicated’ and ‘swearing loudly’. Mr Broughan accepted there had been an issue with the payment for drinks and that he got into an argument with a man at the bar.

But according to Mr Buxton’s statement, Mr Broughan was not served and was asked to leave. Outside the pub he told Mr Buxton he was a councillor and handed him his business card. Mr Buxton subsequently made a formal complaint to the council about Mr Broughan’s behaviour.

Council investigator Clare Clarke ruled Mr Broughan’s behaviour put him in breach of the council’s code of conduct.

Speaking at today’s hearing, she said: “Mr Broughan was acting as a councillor and I have been provided with the business card he presented on the night in question. I was able to meet with the landlord’s son and daughter and the statement from them corroborated that version of events.”

Chairman Ross Irving condemned Mr Broughan and claimed he has a drink problem.

He said: “Officers from the democratic services department have spent a considerable amount of time and effort after difficult meetings where it was clear that Mr Broughan was under the influence of drink. Mr Broughan has a serious problem with alcohol – he cannot go around behaving like he was.”

The committee found Mr Broughan had breached authority rules about treating others with respect and his behaviour had brought the authority into disrepute.

The second complaint related to a verbal spat with a man in January which started in the Travellers Rest and continued at a chip shop. It was also claimed Mr Broughan threatened to have the Travellers Rest shut down. He accepted a police caution for an assault at the chip shop, which meant paying £100 compensation to his victim, apologising to him and attending an alcohol management course.

Mr Broughan has insisted he was not acting in an official capacity. But council investigator Christopher Parry found Mr Broughan was acting in an official capacity at the Travellers Rest and in an unofficial capacity at the takeaway.

The committee found he breached authority rules during the Travellers Rest incident. He must write a letter of apology to the complainants and the chip shop manager. He will also have to attend training.

Mr Irving had earlier likened the committee’s powers to a ‘toothless tiger’.

He added: “Mr Broughan has behaved in an appalling way. This is one of the worst cases the panel has heard for a considerable period of time.”

Stoke Sentinel

Ukip supporter Hall sent the emails in the wake of a Brexit debate in parliament

Ukip supporter Hall sent the emails in the wake of a Brexit debate in parliament

A man sent racist and threatening emails to six MPs, including one which urged David Lammy to “remember what happened to Jo Cox”.

David William Hall, 72, of Wolverhampton admitted six counts of sending grossly offensive messages.

Emails were also sent to MPs Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan and Heidi Allen.

Hall, who also sent a email to Eleanor Smith calling for her to be put on a “banana boat”, will be sentenced later.

Former education secretary Ms Morgan said the “threats of violence or death” crossed a line.

‘Burn in hell’

Ukip supporter Hall sent the emails last December, in the wake of a Brexit debate in parliament, the court heard.

One email, littered with capital letters and exclamation marks, was sent by Hall to four of the MPs after a parliamentary vote on an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

It had in the subject line: “Your back stabbing treachery” and read: “You deserve to be HUNG for your attack on our democracy yesterday.”

The email concluded, in capitals: “May you burn in hell for eternity.”

Prosecutor Matthew Brook said an email to Wolverhampton MP Eleanor Smith was sent after she made comments about the Black Country flag.

Mr Lammy and Ms Morgan attended court to give evidence against Hall when he entered his guilty pleas.

Speaking outside court Ms Morgan, Conservative MP for Loughborough, said: “MPs are of course subject to robust debate and scrutiny, which is what we should be.

“When things tip over into threats of violence or death, then I think a line has been crossed.”

BBC News