Around 100 firefighters have been tackling a blaze at a packaging warehouse.
Essex Man Found Guilty Of Murder Sentenced
A man found guilty of stabbing his ex-partner and killing her in Westcliff has been sentenced to 22 years in jail.
43-year-old Simon Meecham, a mechanic from Shoeburyness, was found guilty on Wednesday of murdering 22-year-old Leanne Meecham.
Leanne was stabbed at her home in Park Street in Westcliffe on 13th February 2014 and was taken to the Royal London Hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
Simon Meecham, of Rosewood Lane, Showburyness was also found with knife injuries at the scene.
He was treated in hospital before Essex Police officers later charged him with murder.
Senior Investigating Officer DCI Mark Hall, from the Kent & Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Leanne Meecham was much loved by her family and was a devoted mother.
“On the morning of February 13, Simon Meecham went to Leanne’s home armed with a knife. He had discovered that she had started a new relationship and he was consumed by jealousy. Shortly after he arrived he fatally wounded Leanne, stabbing her multiple times. She was totally defenceless against what was a determined, focussed and wholly unprovoked attack.
“Simon Meecham then fled the house and later stabbed himself a number of times in an attempt to make it look like he was the victim. He later falsely claimed these injuries had been caused by Leanne and then later claimed he had stabbed her accidently. The jury in this case have seen through those lies and I am grateful to the witnesses who came forward to give evidence.
“My thoughts are with Leanne’s family and I hope that his conviction brings them some small comfort.
“This tragic case illustrates the dangers faced by those who suffer violence and abuse within their homes. Essex Police together with our partner agencies are committed to supporting victims of domestic abuse and bringing offenders to justice. My message to those who are in an abusive relationship is please contact Essex Police, we will listen to you, we will take your concerns seriously and we will take action to protect you.”
CPS East of England Senior Crown Prosecutor Doug Mackay said: "The prosecution made clear to the judge at the sentencing hearing that this was a vicious, premeditated attack born out of jealousy and carried out in the presence of a young child in the victim's own home. It is not disputed that Meecham took the knife to the scene.
"This was a tragic case where Meecham could not accept that his relationship with Leanne was over and that she had moved on with her life.
"He went to her home armed with a knife and deliberately killed her then lied about the circumstances: he claimed the knife was to harm himself; that she was stabbed by accident several times during a "struggle"; that she was injured by mistake when he "forgot" he was holding a knife.
"The jury did not believe his stories and convicted him on 13 August 2013 of Leanne's murder. I hope Leanne's family can take some comfort from the fact that he is has been held to account for her death and that justice has been done."
Members of Leanne’s family have issued the following statement: “In February our family lost our precious Leanne at the hands of Simon Meecham. She was a special sister, daughter mother and friend. The past six months have been especially hard for us as we struggle to come to terms with how Leanne was taken from us and that her four year old son has been deprived of his mother and also his father.
“Despite the conviction of her killer, his term of imprisonment will never be sufficient punishment for taking Leanne from us. We would like to thank Essex Police and the legal teams especially our Barrister Jocelyn Ledward, who have all helped bring him to justice. We would particularly like to thank the Police Family Liaison Officers Dc Rachel Slade and Dc Dan Jordan and of course all of our family and friends for their continual support.
“We will now try to move on with our lives, remembering Leanne and the wonderful times that we shared."
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