Dad who beat wife to death with crowbar at stables jailed for life

A man who bludgeoned his wife to death with a crowbar and denied it to police moments later has been jailed for at least 20 years.

David Pomphret hit partner Ann Marie over the head 30 times with the weapon near the stables the couple owned in Burtonwood, Warrington.

The 51-year-old dad-of-one was found guilty of murder last week at Liverpool Crown Court after his "web of deceit and lies" fell apart.

He burned his blood-soaked sweatshirt, threw the murder weapon in a pond and disposed of his other clothes after the vicious attack.

The killer also swapped his and his wife’s cars around and sent a number of text messages apparently showing apparent concern about her.

Pomphret denied murdering his wife, 49, who was undergoing cancer treatment, for months before finally admitting he was responsible – brazenly lying during 15 police interviews.

The sickening murder happened on November 2 last year.

It was a speck of blood found on his socks, which he forgot to change, that secured his conviction.

Judge Aubrey QC told the killer, the Manchester Evening News reports: “You intended to kill her and I am satisfied that is so.

”It was a brutal and sustained attack perpetuated upon her. It was a ferocious attack causing catastrophic injuries.

”She had defensive injuries to both her hands and she must have been pleading and begging for it to stop.

“You didn’t. You continued to strike her and then left her there on the path.

“A family has been destroyed. A daughter has lost her mother.

“Murdered by her father who is about to commence a sentence of life imprisonment.”

Pomphret was told it would be 20 years before he can be considered for parole.

The judge said: ”This was a ferocious attack upon your wife.

”You used a weapon and struck her on the head on at least 30 occasions.

”You made no efforts to conceal the body but what you did was conceal the weapon and meticulously seek to conceal everything you had done in order to seek to recreate a difference scenario.

”I do not find you were provoked as such at the scene.

”You hadn’t just snapped as you alleged.

“The only further mitigation available to you is your relationship with your wife, your patience and calmness over the year’s in light of your wife’s issues.”

Bodycam footage recorded by a police officer at the scene of the murder shows Pomphret claim he was concerned when his wife wasn't picking up her phone.

He said: "She's lying there, oh God, she's just lying there."

Asked if he'd touched her, he added: "Yeah, they tried to get me to do mouth-to-mouth, oh jeez I almost threw up."

The IT expert claimed he had suffered a loss of control and only should be found guilty of manslaughter.

He said lost his cool after his wife had fired taunts at him, including calling him "limp", which referred, he reckoned, to his problems with erectile dysfunction.

Ann Marie suffered a gaping hole on the right side of her head.

Pomphret showed no emotion in the dock when the verdict was returned on Friday.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said: "You have been convicted by the jury of the crime of the murder of your wife.

"There can only be one sentence, a sentence of life imprisonment.

"I will determine the minimum term that you must serve before being considered eligible by the parole board on Tuesday morning."

As part of a conniving act, Pomphret refused to give his wife CPR and told the 999 car handler “she is white as a sheet, [her] chest isn’t moving” and declined to give chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth, adding: "No no, she is stone cold."

When encouraged further, he replied: "Are you joking?"

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