Hereford & Worcester

US businessman guilty of murdering wife

Harold Landry
Image caption Harold Landry, originally from Louisiana, met his wife on the internet

A US businessman who stabbed his wife 23 times and left her dying under a hedge has been found guilty of murder.

Lucy Landry, 38, was found in a neighbour's garden near Pershore, Worcestershire, on 1 February 2010.

Harold Landry, a retired engineer, 65, had denied murder but admitted her manslaughter saying he was guilty by reason of provocation.

The couple had both started new relationships as their marriage soured, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Landry will be sentenced on Friday.

The jury had heard how Landry did not dispute killing his wife but claimed he was guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter by reason of provocation.

Will changed

Mrs Landry had begun an affair with an old school friend she had met through a social networking website, the court heard.

After the murder, Landry drove to his new partner's cottage and gave her three banker's drafts for a total of £30,000, a bundle of money and several signed blank cheques.

He then set off to go back home but was arrested as he did so.

Rachel Brand QC, prosecuting, said shortly before the killing Landry had told a neighbour on the Besford Court Estate that he did not want to give his wife money and had changed his will.

Image caption Lucy Landry had started an affair

He also said he had some silver bars in the kitchen and that he was going to get rid of them.

The couple had first met over the internet and Landry eventually moved to Britain where they married.

But the relationship began to break down and Mrs Landry had started her affair by August 2009, the court heard.

Gareth Walters, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said outside court: "Landry attacked his wife with such severity that she had over 20 stab wounds and was found dying outside by a neighbour with the knife still in situ."

Det Sgt Natalie Jones, of West Mercia Police, said Landry's crime had shocked the community.

Mrs Landry was originally from Pontypridd, Wales.

In a statement released by police her family said: "Lucy was a bright, beautiful, bubbly person who was much loved and will be forever missed by her family and her friends.

"To have her taken away from us in this way has caused devastation to us all.

"We are relieved with the verdict. It has been an extremely traumatic year for everyone but finally, justice has been done for Lucy."

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