“Yeah, I’ve just killed my wife.”
In a haunting 999 call, ex-Ukip councillor Stephen Searle admits killing his wife, then goes on to make small talk with the emergency services operator as the police make their way to his home.
“Bit of a bizarre situation. But you know... never mind,” he adds during the extraordinary conversation, which has been released to the public this week after the 64-year-old was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Anne.
During the call, Searle chats calmly to the clearly shocked operator. “Bit different for you tonight, I expect” he says at one point, before adding: “Happy New Year.”
Anne Searle, 62, died after an altercation at the couple’s home in Stowmarket, Suffolk, on December 30 last year.
Jurors were played the call during a six-day trial in which he claimed to have acted in self-defence.
“I’m not violent, I’m not nothing,” Searle is heard telling the operator during the call.
The court heard how Searle, who had been married for 45 years, had been engaged in an affair with his son Gary’s partner.
Recounting events in court, Searle said: “It was just a blur. Eventually she stopped struggling and I went, ‘Thank fuck for that’.”
He told the court he had not tried to call an ambulance to come to his wife’s aid and instead “just sat there like a bloody idiot.”
The jury found Searle guilty of murder.
Officers attended the call within minutes, and are heard greeting Searle towards the end of the audio clip.
Stevie Searle, one of the couple’s three sons, said in a statement: “Not only have I lost my mum, but because of what he’s done I’ve lost my dad too.”