Cambridgeshire

Laraine Rayner murder: Disabled woman's partner jailed for life

Laraine Maria Rayne Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Laraine Rayner died from a stab wound to the neck

A man has been jailed for life after stabbing his disabled girlfriend to death and leaving her body to rot for two weeks in a "shrine" at their home.

Steven Stocks, 44, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire was found guilty of the murder of Laraine Rayner, 53, after a six day trial.

Ms Rayner was discovered at a property in Mill Road in the town on 24 April.

At Southwark Crown Court, Stocks was told he will face a minimum of 20 years in jail.

Ms Rayner was killed in a "state of fury", the jury was told.

After stabbing the mother of three during an argument, Mr Stocks undressed her, leaving her only in her underwear before placing her body in the "shrine" in her bedroom, the prosecution said.

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He then wrote a letter to Ms Rayner, apologising for the "mess" he had made, Prosecutor John Farmer told the court.

Ms Rayner's body was discovered in her Mill Road flat after her father contacted police.

Image caption Ms Rayner's body was left in the bedroom of her flat for two weeks

They also found Mr Stocks, who was naked and had apparently tried to take an overdose.

Mr Farmer told the court Mr Stocks had left his partner to bleed to death before "carrying on with his ordinary life".

'Much loved'

During the trial, the court had heard the victim was "fragile and vulnerable", had a number of physical and mental health issues, was housebound and relied on crutches to get around.

Post-mortem tests showed she died from a stab wound to the neck.

At an earlier hearing Stocks pleaded guilty to preventing Ms Rayner's decent and lawful burial.

In a statement her family said "Although today's verdict brings a welcome relief, it goes without saying that this will not bring back Laraine, a much loved sister, mother, daughter and aunt."

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