Hereford & Worcester

Life sentence for wife killer Harold Landry

Harold Landry
Image caption Harold Landry had previously shot a man in the US

A businessman who stabbed his wife 23 times and left her under a hedge has been jailed for at least 16 years.

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

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

After his conviction it was revealed he had been convicted previously of gunning down a love rival in the US.

He was convicted of aggravated battery in October 1994 after he shot another man in Covington, Louisiana, and was given a suspended sentence.

Landry, who made his money by designing cranes for oil rigs, was jailed for life with Mr Justice Foskett calling the attack on Lucy Landry, previously from Pontypridd, Wales, "unspeakable and unforgivable".

"There is a trait within you that, if provoked and challenged, can lead to serious violence," he told Landry.

Justice Foskett also criticised Landry for claiming his wife had threatened him with a knife shortly before he chased her out of their home on the Besford Court estate.

He said the claim had "all the hallmarks" of a story dreamt up after the event to try to establish a defence.

Most of Mrs Landry's stab wounds had been inflicted as she lay on the ground trying to defend herself, he said.

"I have no doubt that you intended to kill her," Justice Foskett said.

"I have no doubt that you knew she was dead when you left her body."

Image caption Lucy Landry first met her husband over the internet

Wolverhampton Crown Court had heard that the couple first met over the internet with Landry eventually moving to the UK so the pair could marry.

The marriage had "soured" and both Mr and Mrs Landry had started new relationships.

The court heard Landry had taken steps to make sure Mrs Landry would not benefit from a divorce.

After the murder Landry drove to his new partner's cottage and told her "something awful" had happened.

He gave his new partner three banker's drafts for a total of £30,000, some money, the keys to his car and several signed blank cheques.

He then set off to walk back to his home, but was arrested by police along the way.

After the sentencing, Mrs Landry's family said they were pleased with the tariff and thankful for the judge's comments.

"It goes some way to ease the pain that we have suffered; however no amount of years in prison [for Harold Landry] will ever bring Lucy back.

"This is something that each and every member of the family will have to try and come to terms with."

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