James Roy Simister guilty of murdering Debbie Simister

Debbie Simister
Image caption Debbie Simister's family said "heaven has gained an angel"

A man who stabbed his wife to death during an argument at their home has been convicted of murder.

Winchester Crown Court heard James Roy Simister, 49, of Amesbury, Wiltshire, dialled 999 last April and told an operator: "I've just stabbed my wife."

Debbie Simister, 45, was found dead by police with stab wounds to her neck.

Wiltshire Police said the couple's five-year marriage had been "volatile" and characterised by violence and alcohol abuse.

The court heard Mrs Simister had her bags packed and was planning to leave her husband the next day to stay with her elderly father.

Police were called to the home on Maple Way on the evening of 8 April 2013 where Mrs Simister's body was found in the bedroom.

She was air lifted to Southampton General Hospital where she died.

In a statement her family said they were happy with the verdict.

They added: "She was the heart and soul of our family and now that she is no longer with us, we are completely torn apart.

"All generations have been affected, not to mention that she will never see her beautiful grandchildren grow up.

"Heaven has gained an angel and she will always live on in our hearts. Now it is all over we can finally put it all to rest and move forward."

Mrs Simister had been trying to improve her life and had been receiving help for her alcohol dependency, Wiltshire Police said.

Det Sgt Pete Ritson, of Wiltshire Police said: "Tragically, Roy Simister's actions that night deprived Debbie of that chance to leave and continue making positive changes in her life.

"The outcome today may not bring much comfort to Debbie's friends and family but we hope that they feel justice has been done.

"Our thoughts are with them, and most importantly, her children at this very difficult time."

Simister is due to be sentenced on Monday.

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