Essex

Becky Parker: Matthew Smith guilty of murder

Becky Parker Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Isobel "Becky" Parker, a mother of two, was strangled to death at her flat in Essex in July

A factory worker has been convicted of the "sickening murder" of his former partner who was six months pregnant.

Mother-of-two Isobel Parker, 23, who was known as Becky, was found dead in the bath in her flat in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, last July.

Matthew Smith, 24, had admitted killing Ms Parker but denied murder.

A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court found Smith, of Wood Corner Caravan Park, Maldon, guilty by a majority verdict following a three-week trial.

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Judge Charles Gratwicke said Smith could expect a substantial sentence when he returns to court on Tuesday.

Det Ch Insp Martin Pasmore said Smith "could not accept his relationship with Isobel was over after she had moved on to the extent that she was six months pregnant by a new partner".

"The jury has today seen through his lies and convicted him of murder."

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption A jury spent two days deliberating before convicting Matthew Smith of murder
Image caption Ms Parker's body was found at a flat in Booth Place, Burnham-on-Crouch

Ms Parker's body was found by her sister in the property in Booth Place on 17 July 2015.

During the trial, the court heard she had been strangled to death with cable ties.

Ms Parker ended her relationship with Smith in December 2014. He had not taken the split well and had tried to kill himself, the jury was told.

The court also heard Smith was "unhappy" and "very jealous" that she was pregnant by her new boyfriend.

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