Man guilty of murdering wife who asked for divorce

A man has been found guilty of stabbing his wife to death on the day she asked for a divorce that would have left him homeless and facing deportation.

Old Bailey jurors convicted Bentley Huggins, 41, of murder - rejecting his claims he was a battered husband.

Desirie Thomas, 35, was found at their home in Woolwich, south-east London, with stab wounds to her neck and face.

Huggins claimed his wife attacked him with a knife but prosecutors said he killed her "in anger and cold blood".

'Hard-working' woman

Jurors were told the couple had married in Antigua in early 2010 and had a baby daughter.

Zoe Johnson, QC, told the court Ms Thomas was a hard-working woman, holding down a demanding job as a British Airways supervisor, paying all the household bills and caring for her child.

She said: "The defendant is a self-serving person who believes the world owes him a living and believes women should be subservient to his needs.

"On the day she was killed, Desirie Thomas had decided to divorce the defendant.

"That would have had the inevitable and devastating effect of making him homeless and being sent back to St Kitts."

The court heard unemployed Huggins went to the police on 23 December 2011, claiming to have killed his wife in self-defence.

But the prosecution said it was a "pre-emptive strike" because Huggins feared she was about to complain about him, and he attacked her after she decided to divorce him.

When officers forced their way into the 14th-floor flat in Wellington Street they found the victim in a pool of blood and a kitchen knife with dried blood on it nearby.

The defendant will be sentenced at a date due to be set.

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