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9 March 2012, 15:04 | Updated: 9 March 2012, 15:25
A jury at Luton Crown Court has today found the husband of Tracy Anstice guilty of her murder
A jealous and controlling husband who would not accept his marriage was over lured his wife to her parent's home and stabbed her to death on the driveway.
A Judge told 50 year old Lee Anstice that he had used his military training to kill her 'with brutal efficiency'.
Judge Richard Foster said: "An aggravating feature is that you chose to kill her where it would be witnessed by her parents and your eight year old daughter. That poor girl is the other tragic victim in this case".
Anstice, who lived with his wife Tracy in Carlisle Close, Dunstable until shortly before her death, had pleaded not guilty to her murder claiming he was severely depressed and hearing voices which had disturbed the balance of his mind. He had attempted suicide twice in the months before the killing and spent six weeks as a voluntary inpatient at a Mental Health unit.
But he was found guilty unanimously by a jury of murder and was jailed for life. He will have to serve a minimum of 24 years.
Mrs. Anstice, a 37 year old mother of one, had consulted divorce solicitors and was seeing another man, Luton Crown Court heard. But Anstice, described as 'controlling and jealous' seemed unable to accept the marriage was over.
He had been ordered to stay away from the family home and was living with his parents in Oxfordshire.
On the day of her death - Aug 26 last year, Anstice said he was going to see his daughter knowing Tracy would rush there. He was waiting for her outside her parent's house in Buttermere Close, Flitwick, and stabbed her four times with a knife he had bought that day, one of the wounds penetrating her heart.
Judge Foster told him: "Your marriage had broken down irretrievably yet you could not accept that, and you could not accept you no longer had control over your wife. You used every trick in the book to try to keep her. She had to walk a tight rope because she wanted to leave the marriage and move on with her life but she did not want you to do anything stupid and wanted you to remain in a relationship with your daughter. You thought only about yourself. When it finally dawned on you that your marriage was over you hatched a plot to confront her and kill her and then possibly kill yourself. You went to Sainsbury's and purchased the murder weapon and drew her to her parent's house where you stabbed her to death with brutal efficiency. With your military training you knew exactly how to penetrate her heart."
Anstice, a civil servant had served with the RAF in the first Gulf War.
He claimed not to remember stabbing her and said he had been hearing a voice giving him instructions to kill himself and how to do it.
Speaking after the verdict, the Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Sean O’Neil said: “While I am satisfied with today’s verdict, nothing will bring Tracy back, or restore her family’s faith in the world following the loss of their daughter, sister and mother in such violent and tragic circumstances. We know that Tracy is missed by all who knew her, but I hope that knowing the person responsible for taking her from them has been brought to justice will go some way to help them begin to rebuild their lives.”
The following statement has been issued by the family of Tracy Anstice following the conclusion of the case today:
“While we are satisfied with today’s verdict and that justice has been done, the day Tracy died will be forever etched in our memories, it was the day our lives were torn apart. Tracy was a healthy, vibrant, loving and caring person who was very much loved by all her family and all her many friends. All Tracy wanted was a chance for her and her daughter to be happy and was very much looking forward to her future.
She was our ‘little Sis’ and we were all extremely close. We are now doing our best to provide for her daughter and while it is our intention to ensure she grows up as a well adjusted young lady she will be living a very different life to the one her Mummy had planned for her.
Prior to August 26, 2011, we were an ordinary family leading an ordinary life. Since that fateful day our world has changed beyond recognition. We remain a strong and loving family but we will never be the same family again. The pain of losing our beautiful Tracy and the tragic and awful way she died will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
We could not have survived this ordeal without the help, support and guidance of our friends and extended family, officers from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit and Victim Support. To all those who have helped us, thank you. We hope now to somehow re-build our lives in a way that would make Tracy proud.
Looking to the future, the family would like Tracy to be remembered as a beautiful daughter, a wonderful and beloved mummy, a loving sibling to her brother and sister and a adored auntie to her three nieces. She was a caring and loyal friend. Tracy was loved so much and will be missed forever.”