Stowmarket – minimum of 14 years in jail for man who murdered wife | Suffolk Constabulary

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Stowmarket – minimum of 14 years in jail for man who murdered wife

Stephen Searle

A 64-year-old man has been sentenced to a minimum of 14 years in jail after murdering his wife in Stowmarket last year.

Stephen Searle was found guilty yesterday Tuesday 17 July, of the murder of Anne Searle, 62, after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court. He had denied the offence.

Today, Wednesday 18 July, Searle appeared before Ipswich Crown Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years before being considered for release by the parole board.

The incident took place on the evening of Saturday 30 December, 2017 at the couple’s home in The Brickfields, Stowmarket.

At around 10.20pm police received a call from Searle who said he had just killed his wife.

Police officers and paramedics tried to revive Mrs Searle but she was declared dead at 10.58pm. A subsequent post-mortem examination indicated she died from a sustained compression to the neck area.

Searle and his wife had been married for 45 years and have three sons, Garry, Christopher and Stevie, but there had been a recent history of marital problems between the couple.

The trial heard the defendant had been in a recent relationship with Garry’s partner, Anastasia Pomiateeva, which was the subject of the row that ended in Mrs Searle’s death.

The senior investigating officer Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said: "Anne Searle’s death was a tragic crime and our sympathies remain with her family and friends.

"Domestic abuse continues to take place behind closed doors. Suffolk Constabulary will take positive action against the perpetrators where we have the opportunity. When victims of abuse come to us we will work with them to address their needs and make them and their families safe. Our focus is firmly on the needs of victims and we will continue to work closely with our partners in tackling this type of crime.”

 

Previous release | 17 January 2018

A 64-year-old man has been convicted of murdering his wife in Stowmarket last year.

Stephen Searle was found guilty today, Tuesday 17 July, of the murder of Anne Searle, 62, after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court. He had denied the offence. Searle is due to be sentenced tomorrow, Wednesday 18 July.

The incident took place on the evening of Saturday 30 December, 2017 at the couple’s home in The Brickfields, Stowmarket.

At around 10.20pm police received a call from Searle who said he had just killed his wife. He told the call handler he was at his home address and that his wife was on the floor between the lounge and the kitchen.

Searle said he had suffocated her about one hour before he called police.

While the call handler was on the phone to Searle, officers were dispatched and soon arrived at the address. Searle opened the door while still on the telephone to the police.

Police officers and paramedics tried to revive Mrs Searle but she was declared dead at 10.58pm. A subsequent post-mortem examination indicated she died from a sustained compression to the neck area.

Searle later told police he and his wife had being having a disagreement earlier that evening and claimed she had tried to stab him in the stomach three times with a serrated steak knife.

In his statement he said he grabbed for the knife and received cuts to his right hand before both of them fell to the ground. He claimed he was in fear for his life during this struggle and did not mean to hurt his wife.

Searle and his wife had been married for 45 years and have three sons, Garry, Christopher and Stevie, but there had been a recent history of marital problems between the couple.

The trial heard the defendant had been in a recent relationship with Garry’s partner, Anastasia Pomiateeva, which was the subject of the row that ended in Mrs Searle’s death.

The senior investigating officer Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger said: “Anne Searle’s death was a tragic crime and our sympathies remain with her family and friends. Whilst crimes of this severity remain a rare occurrence in Suffolk the community can take reassurance that the man responsible has been brought to justice for his actions.

“The investigation has been professionally handled by the Constabulary staff involved, leading to the right outcome at trial. This started from the initial call handling, continued during the diligent investigation and we have worked hard to support the family through the challenging time that followed Anne’s murder.

“Domestic abuse continues to take place behind closed doors. Suffolk Constabulary will take positive action against the perpetrators where we have the opportunity. When victims of abuse come to us we will work with them to address their needs and make them and their families safe. Our focus is firmly on the needs of victims and we will continue to work closely with our partners in tackling this type of crime.

“We have a dedicated team of domestic abuse specialists who ensure the correct response is provided to victims. They work closely with the Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), Victim Support and other local and national organisations in order to get the right advice and support for victims and help them break free from abuse.”

 

Statement from Stevie Searle (son):

“As you are all well aware, today there has been justice for my mum, Anne Searle. The thing is, this year not only have I lost my mum but my dad as well.

“So now all I want to focus on is my family and friends who can help me through this year and more to come.

“The part that hurts me the most is I lost my mum but the person who took my mum away was also my best friend, who was my dad.

“So now it’s time to focus on my own family and kids and do the best I can for them.”

Previous release | 2 January 2018

Police have charged 64-year-old Stephen Searle with murder, following the death of a woman in Stowmarket at the weekend.

Police were called to an address in The Brickfields at 10.30pm on Saturday 30 December.

On arrival at the property a woman was discovered unresponsive. Paramedics attended the address but the woman was declared deceased at the scene.

A Home Office post mortem examination was conducted on Sunday 31 December and requires further tests to be carried out.

The victim has been formally identified as Anne Searle, aged 62, of The Brickfields, Stowmarket.

64-year-old Stephen Searle, of the same address, was charged with murder in the early hours of Tuesday 2 January. The accused and victim were husband and wife.

Stephen Searle has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates’ Court this morning, Tuesday 2 January.

Previous release | 31 December 2017

A man has been arrested following the death of a woman in Stowmarket last night, Saturday 30 December.  

Police were called to an address in The Brickfields at 10.20pm.

On arrival at the property a woman, believed to be aged in her 60s, was discovered unresponsive. Paramedics attended the address but the woman was declared deceased at the scene.

The death is being treated as suspicious and a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

A police cordon is in place at the property whilst officers carry out an investigation.

Anyone who has any information in relation to this incident is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting incident number 401 of Saturday 30 December.

 

Previous release | 1 January 2018 11am

Police were called to an address on The Brickfields in Stowmarket at 10.20pm on Saturday 30 December. On arrival at the property a woman, believed to be in her 60s, was discovered unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The death is being treated as suspicious and a 64 year old man from Stowmarket was arrested and taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

A superintendent authorised a 12 hour extension of detention yesterday evening and this morning officers made an application for a warrant of further detention at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court.  

Detectives have been granted an additional 24 hours to question the 64-year-old suspect.

This will expire at 11.12am tomorrow morning, Tuesday 2 January 2018.

A cordon remains in place at the scene as police continue with their enquiries.