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'Murdered' Ukip councillor's wife 'stuck by him despite affair'

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Wife, 62, 'whose Ukip councillor husband strangled her to death decided to stick by him despite his affair with his son's partner because she felt too old to start again'

By Richard Spillett, Crime Correspondent For Mailonline

Published: 10:17 EDT, 10 July 2018 | Updated: 10:18 EDT, 10 July 2018

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A woman whose ex-Royal Marine husband allegedly strangled her to death had stuck by him despite his affair with their son's partner as she felt she was 'too old to start again', a court heard.

Former Ukip councillor Stephen Searle, 64, denies the murder of his 62-year-old wife Anne Searle and is on trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

Prosecutors say Searle probably used a choke hold to kill her after a row about his affair at their home in Stowmarket, Suffolk on December 30 last year.

Former Marine Stephen Searle (pictured) is accused of killing his wife Anne in a 'choke hold'
Former Marine Stephen Searle (pictured) is accused of killing his wife Anne in a 'choke hold'
Former Marine Stephen Searle is accused of killing his wife Anne (pictured) in a 'choke hold'
Former Marine Stephen Searle is accused of killing his wife Anne (pictured) in a 'choke hold'

Former Marine Stephen Searle (left) is accused of killing his wife Anne (right) in a 'choke hold'

Kelly Lawrence, a colleague of Mrs Searle at sushi producer Ichiban UK, told jurors on Tuesday that one day in August last year Mrs Searle 'looked unhappy' and they had a conversation.

'She informed me that she found out that her husband was having an affair but at the time she didn't know if it was a male or female that he was having an affair with,' Ms Lawrence said.

'She said he had done it before but she wasn't sure what was going on at the time.'

She said Mrs Searle had posted screenshots of text messages between her husband and the other party on Facebook, but later removed them.

'I think in the end she confronted him about it,' Ms Lawrence said. 'He admitted to it and said it was with their daughter-in-law.'

The confrontation had ended in an argument, Ms Lawrence said, and Mrs Searle had smashed her husband's phone up.

She said that on another occasion she noticed bruising on Mrs Searle's arms, and Mrs Searle said it was caused by her husband.

'She had called the police but wasn't going to press charges against him,' she said. 'She wanted to make her marriage work and sort it out.'

Asked what else Mrs Searle said, Ms Lawrence added: 'Only that she had been married for so long that she was too old to start again. She wanted to make it work.'

Searle had been married to his wife for 45 years and they had three sons together.

The court heard Searle had an affair with Anastasia Pomiateeva, who had children with his son Gary but was not married to him.

The trial continues.

 

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By Shawn Arnette 10/07/2018 10:25:00