London

Man who searched 'most painful stab spot' jailed for wife's murder

Jose Leonardo Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Police described Jose Leonardo as a violent man

A man who killed his wife after searching online for the "most painful place to stab someone" has been jailed for a minimum of 22 years.

Jose Leonardo, 56, killed Maria Mbombo, 52, at their Belsize Park home in west London on 18 May.

The Old Bailey heard he had admitted killing Ms Mbombo but claimed it was manslaughter by "loss of control".

Leonardo was found guilty of one count of murder but cleared of one charge of perverting the course of justice.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Maria Mbombo has been dead "for some time" before she was found

The jury heard that on the afternoon of the murder, Leonardo had searched Google for "can I survive stab in the eye?" and "most painful place to stab someone" on his mobile phone.

Later that evening, the couple's 23-year-old son called emergency services to the house.

He was found trying to resuscitate his mother on a bedroom floor.

Prosecutor John Price said Ms Mbombo was covered in blood and had been dead "for some while".

Mr Price said: "For all his statements of grief to the police officers at the hospital, the defendant, who will have been with her in their home whilst she slowly died, did nothing to summon help."

'History of violence'

Det Insp Simon Deefholts said: "Leonardo has never revealed the exact events of that day in Maitland Park Villas and tried to claim in his defence that he lost control before launching the attack.

"However, our investigation revealed that Leonardo had a history of violence towards Maria, including another incident where Maria sustained three knife wounds while on a visit to Belgium in March 2016.

"No offences were reported to police in the UK but it is clear that Leonardo was a violent man who could not control his temper."

Leonardo was given a mandatory life sentence for murder with a minimum tariff of 22 years.

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