Derby

Duffield deaths: Man admits murdering wife and new partner

Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths Image copyright Family photos
Image caption The bodies of Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths were found by police on New Year's Day

A man has admitted murdering his wife and her new partner on New Year's Day.

Helen Hancock, 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48, were found stabbed to death at a house in Duffield, Derbyshire, in the early hours of 1 January.

Derby Crown Court heard Rhys Hancock called police at about 04:20 GMT to say he was at his former marital home and admitted murdering the couple.

Hancock, of Etwall in Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to both murders.

The 40-year-old former head teacher will be sentenced at a date to be fixed.

Police officers found the bodies of mother-of-three Ms Hancock and father-of-two Mr Griffiths in the house.

An inquest heard both had suffered multiple stab wounds and there was a blunt trauma injury to Ms Hancock's right eye.

A previous court hearing was told Hancock had found out about his wife's new relationship on 26 December.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Rhys Hancock will be sentenced at a later date

Hancock's mother had called police just after 04:00 warning them he had left the house with two knives after earlier telling her he "felt like killing them".

A phone operator tried to call Ms Hancock's mobile number but it went to voicemail.

Following the husband's call, a police dog handler was the first to arrive at the scene and ordered Hancock to the floor before arresting him.

Both victims were found in a bedroom with multiple stab wounds.

Mr Griffiths had already died but paramedics battled for more than 15 minutes to resuscitate Ms Hancock before she was pronounced dead.

A pathologist's report quoted at her inquest stated: "A knife was recovered from the abdomen. The whole of the knife being within the body."

Image caption Ms Hancock and Mr Griffiths were found at a house in Duffield

A close friend of Ms Hancock, who worked as a PE teacher in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said she had been "loving life" in the months leading up to the killings and had climbed Snowdon with her new partner just days before they died.

Her family described her as "a lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person".

The family of Mr Griffiths said he was "a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals".

The case had been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) due to contact between Derbyshire Police and Ms Hancock in the period leading up to the murders.

An IOPC spokesperson said: "We are close to finalising our investigation and we will consider releasing our findings when all associated proceedings, including coronial, have been concluded."

They added the police contact related to "a number of domestic incidents over a period of time".

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