Manchester

Ann Marie Pomphret stables murder: Husband jailed for life

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Media captionDavid Pomphret was recorded inside an ambulance on police bodycam shortly after the killing

A man who battered his wife to death with a crowbar during a row has been jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Ann Marie Pomphret, 49, was struck 30 times by her husband David at the stables they owned in Warrington, Cheshire, on 2 November.

Pomphret, 51, was found guilty of her murder on Friday after a 10-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

He had admitted killing his wife, but denied murder on the grounds of a temporary loss of control.

Passing sentence, Judge David Aubrey told Pomphret he was "an accomplished liar" who had woven "a web of deceit and lies".

He said Mrs Pomphret "had defensive injuries to both her hands. She must have been pleading and begging for you to stop".

"You had had enough of her, saw the opportunity that presented itself that night to kill her and did so."

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption David Pomphret struck his wife Ann Marie 30 times with a crowbar

Pomphret told jurors his wife could go from being happy to depressed in minutes and become "very angry, very quickly".

The couple had gone to the stables to check on their horses when Mrs Pomphret began "ranting" at him and he "snapped".

Pomphret had initially protested his innocence but was "undone" after a speck of blood on his socks showed he was at the scene when she died.

Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption David Pomphret initially denied any involvement in his wife's death

Jurors heard he dialled 999 saying he had found his wife of 22 years lying in a pool of blood, "very dead".

"There is brain and blood everywhere, and it looks like she has had her head beaten in," he added.

The Barclays bank technology expert was arrested the next day and denied any involvement.

Image copyright CPS
Image caption Pomphret had burned his bloodstained clothes and thrown the crowbar in a nearby pond

He was given bail but re-arrested four months later after police found "airborne blood" on his socks.

Pomphret then admitted manslaughter, but blamed his "highly volatile" wife, whose mental health had deteriorated. and claimed a special defence of a temporary loss of control.

Judge Aubrey told Pomphret he had meticulously tried to cover his tracks and may well have got away with the murder, but added: "You forgot to change your socks."

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