Benenden man given life for killing wife

9 April 2016, 10:09 | Updated: 9 April 2016, 10:17

A husband who texted a friend of his wife to say he had killed her will serve at least 15 years in jail.

Stuart Andrews, 54, of The Street, Benenden, murdered 52-year-old Caroline Andrews as the two argued over their financial problems

He sent a text to one of Mrs Andrews' friends to tell her what he had done and was later arrested at a hotel in London after a failed suicide attempt.

Andrews pleaded guilty to murder at Maidstone Crown Court and also pleaded guilty to stealing over £267,000 from an elderly relative.

The court heard how Andrews and his wife had been having financial problems and had been arguing via text message as he travelled home from work.

He later admitted that the argument continued the morning after, and that he had punched Mrs Andrews in the throat before strangling her.

Leaving her body in their bedroom, Andrews then travelled to London and left his mobile telephone on a train after scheduling a text message to be sent to his wife's friend admitting what he had done.

The police were notified and officers attended the family home, where they forced entry and located Mrs Andrews' body.

Detective Inspector Lee Whitehead said: "This is a tragic case and our thoughts remain with the victim's children, who have ultimately lost a mother and father as a result of Andrews' actions.

"There are never any winners in an investigation such as this and I can only hope this early guilty plea will prevent any further pain and anguish that may have resulted from a lengthy trial in court.

"Andrews has expressed some remorse and can reflect on the consequences of his actions during his long prison sentence."