Soldier Jailed For Murdering Girlfriend In Bournemouth

A soldier who stabbed his girlfriend to death in a ``frenzied'' attack in Bournemouth as their children slept upstairs has been jailed for life.

Jay Nava, 27, knifed Natasha Wake 11 times during a bitter row after she learned he was being investigated over an allegation of sexual assault, Dorset Police said.

He stowed the 26-year-old's body in a cupboard beneath the stairs at their Bournemouth home, where it was found covered by a duvet on October 2.

Nava, of the Royal Artillery's 29 Commando Regiment, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 21 years after being found guilty of murder at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday, the force said.

Passing sentence, Judge Jane Miller told Nava: ``You killed her in a frenzied and violent outburst.''

Ms Wake's father told the court during sentencing on Thursday that he had only cried twice over his daughter - at birth and death.

``Natasha's life was on the right track. She had a job she enjoyed, she had a lovely home and she had her children living with her,'' John Wake said.

``Being a single mum of two was difficult but she never complained. But her life was taken from her and in doing so, her children will never know her.

``I cried when my little girl was put in my arms in the delivery room at St Peter's Hospital. My love was instant, my hopes and dreams for her endless.

``Yes, she grew up and had her own children but she never stopped being my little girl. The next time I cried with Tash was carrying her coffin, to sound of friends and family also crying, to her final resting place.''

Ms Wake's relationship with her murderer soured over the two years they were together and she became afraid of his ``controlling and jealous behaviour'', the judge was said to have told the court.

Nava physically and emotionally abused his partner during this time, police said.

The couple had a son together, as well as a child each from previous relationships.

The day before Ms Wake's murder, she discovered Nava was the subject of a police probe over a sexual assault claim made against him in May.

This may have acted as a catalyst for an argument that occurred on the evening she was killed, the jury was told.

Unaware their mother lay lifeless nearby, Ms Wake's children and the third youngster were taken from the house and dropped off by Nava at his grandparents' property.

The following day, he rang his mother in Australia and confessed to the killing, police said.

Family in England were contacted and then raised the alarm.

Ms Wake's body was found curled in foetal position, her chest covered in stab wounds, with injuries also found on her face and defensive wounds on her hands

Her mother, Shelley Powell, told the court on Thursday: ``We are haunted by Natasha's last few moments. I knew her fears - that she would not live to see her children grow up.

``The hideous thought that she may have seen her end and known this fear to be coming true is very hard for us to come to terms with.

``My relationship with Natasha - mother, daughter, best friend is one that will never be replaced. Her loss will always leave a huge void. I will always miss her.''

Police began searching for Nava after the mother's body was found at their home in Harley Gardens and they found him in woodland having made an unsuccessful attempt at taking his life.

Natasha (pictured) was murdered as her children slept upstairs.

Natasha Wake murdered by boyfriend in Bournemouth

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire, of Dorset Police, said: ``Jay Nava is now serving a life sentence after he subjected Natasha to a horrific and brutal attack.

``Throughout their relationship he was both physically and mentally abusive to Natasha and his violent temper ended in tragedy.

``He has sadly left two young children without their mother and Natasha's family and friends totally devastated by their loss.''

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