A pharmacist who plotted for years to kill his wife so he could start a new life in Australia with his boyfriend funded by a £2m life insurance payout has been jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years.
Mitesh Patel, 37, injected his wife Jessica with insulin and strangled her with a Tesco 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 husband seeking sex with men he met on the Grindr dating app.
Patel 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.
Mrs Patel underwent three courses of IVF and the last cycle resulted in three embryos being created, but she was murdered before they could be implanted.
Jailing Patel at Teeside Crown Court, Mr Justice Goss said: “You have no remorse for your actions.
“Any pity you have is for yourself.”
The victim’s younger sister Divya read a statement on behalf of her sisters and close cousins ahead of the judge passing sentence, saying: “The one thing we hope and prayed for above anything else was that in her final moments she did not suffer.
“The cruel reality is that she did in fact suffer, she knew exactly who her killer was, and he mercilessly ignored her attempts to fight for her own life as he ended it.
“We can only imagine the fear and panic she must have felt knowing herself this was it. Thinking of that moment makes our hearts so heavy.”
Patel also addressed her brother-in-law in the dock, saying: “We do not just pray, we know, she will be free from you for ever. As will she rest in heaven, you will rot in hell.”
She added: “Only Mitesh himself can truly answer why he did this. Everything he has done has been purely for selfish reasons. He could’ve divorced her, taken everything he wanted – he did not need to take her life, he had no right to take this evil, cruel and malicious step.”
A statement from Jessica’s grandmother Induben Patel was also read, including the observation: “I question myself, what mistake did she make that she received this big a punishment?
“He could have divorced her and with happiness we would have welcomed her back and kept her safe with our love.”