A British man has been convicted of murdering his wife after he deactivated her airbag and crashed their car into a tree.
Via Sky News HD reports:
Iain Lawrence, 53, was told by High Court judge Mr Justice Leggatt he would serve a minimum of 24 years after being found guilty of murdering his wife Sally.
Prosecutors said Lawrence adopted the brace position as the car crashed into a tree as Mrs Lawrence, who was not wearing a seat belt, died almost instantly.
Lawrence had denied deliberately driving his car into a tree to murder his 47-year-old wife and claimed it was an accident.
But the jury of six men and six women at Leicester Crown Court took just over eight hours to convict him of murder by a majority verdict of 11-1.
The court heard that Lawrence disabled the passenger airbag of his red Peugeot before the crash in Gartree Road in Oadby, Leicestershire, on October 6 last year and, in the moments before the car struck the tree, unclipped his wife’s seatbelt.
Sentencing Lawrence, Mr Justice Leggatt said: “The way in which you killed Sally was both brutal and carefully planned.
“How you got Sally into your car, and whether by trickery or force, no-one but you can know. I suspect it was a combination of the two.
During the trial, jurors heard that Lawrence was struggling to cope with the break-up of his 12-year marriage.
The couple, of Ring Road, Oadby, were going through an acrimonious divorce and had “locked horns” over the settlement the night before the crash.
They were still living together at their matrimonial home at the time of the crash, although they were leading separate lives.
Mrs Lawrence, who was seeing another man and had instigated divorce proceedings months earlier, had told friends she feared her “calm and cold” husband would try to kill her.
Iff you say “Honey, want to go to the store?” – when you’re actually planning to murder her, that qualifies as a trick.