Man jailed for murdering wife in Lancaster street

image captionJohn Dryden must serve a minimum term of 20 years

A man has been jailed for life after he admitted stabbing his estranged wife to death in a Lancashire street.

Mother-of-two Tracy Dryden, 37, was stabbed twice in the chest in School House Lane, Halton, Lancaster, on the morning of 12 March.

John Dryden, 43, of Thacking Lane in Ingleton, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to murder at Preston Crown Court earlier.

He must serve a minimum term of 20 years before he is eligible for parole.

Dryden could not accept his marriage was over and began stalking her when she met another man, the court was told.

'Had enough'

He started to check her emails and when she changed her password he broke into her home and smashed her computer with a crowbar.

On the morning of 12 March, he crouched on a grass verge where Mrs Dryden parked her car on the way to work and leapt out to attack her.

One witness heard Dryden shout: "You are doing my head in. I cannot cope. I have had enough."

Mrs Dryden - the mother of two boys, aged eight and 11 - was pronounced dead at the scene.

image captionMrs Dryden was "a loving and wonderful mother", her family said

Judge Anthony Russell QC, sentencing, said: "You were not prepared to accept your relationship with your wife was over and your compulsive behaviour may have proved a factor in your becoming obsessed.

"Your inability to accept it was indeed over and your sense of grievance about the terms of the separation resulted in you following your wife about, effectively stalking her and watching her activities."

He added: "Clearly you were unable to cope with the situation but equally you were fully aware of the enormity of the actions you were to embark upon."

In a statement released through Lancashire police, Mrs Dryden's family said: "Tracy was a loving and wonderful mother, daughter and sister.

"She was completely dedicated to her two children, whilst at the same time working and completing her PhD.

"She will be dreadfully missed by us all and is an irreplaceable part of all our lives."

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