A British pharmacist who plotted for years to kill his wife so he could start a new life in Australia with his boyfriend and a $AU3.5 million life insurance payout has been convicted of her murder.
Mitesh Patel, 37, injected his wife Jessica with insulin and strangled her with a supermarket bag at their Middlesbrough home, then staged a break-in to make it look like an intruder had attacked her and bound her with tape.
The couple ran a successful pharmacy together but their marriage was unhappy, with the gay husband repeatedly seeking sex with men he met on the Grindr dating app.
And he was secretly in a relationship with his “soulmate” Dr Amit Patel, who had emigrated to Sydney and with whom he hoped to bring up his and Jessica’s IVF baby after her death.
The husband was convicted of her murder on Tuesday at Teesside Crown Court after the jury heard Patel had made internet searches dating back years, including “I need to kill my wife”, “insulin overdose”, “plot to kill my wife, do I need a co-conspirator?”, “hiring hit man UK” and “how much methadone will kill you?”
The jury unanimously found Patel guilty after deliberating for around three hours on the 12th day of the trial. After the murder, police discovered syringes prepared with insulin in Patel’s laptop bag and one was empty.
Police suspected he injected his wife to subdue her when she came home from work on May 14, then strangled her with the bag.
As she fought for her life, she scratched his neck.
He tried to blame the injury on an accident when he was working out at the gym that day.
Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, said: “From various life insurance policies Mitesh Patel stood to profit from his wife’s death to the tune of £2 million ($AU3.5 million).
“He was planning to use that money to start a new life in Australia shared with the person he really loved … another man named Dr Amit Patel.”
Despite his repeated infidelity with men he met on Grindr and also being in love with Dr Patel, the killer desperately tried to persuade his wife to have a baby using IVF.
When she voiced her doubts about going through with the process amid concerns about his infidelity, the husband texted her: “Ok then I’m telling you this then we are parting ways.” But she did eventually go through three cycles of the fertility treatment and the last was successful, resulting in three embryos which now lie frozen in a Darlington clinic.