A PHARMACIST who strangled his wife to start a life in Australia with his secret male lover and the proceeds of £2million insurance payout has been jailed for at least 30 years.
Mitesh Patel was told he had shown ‘no remorse for his actions’, and only pitied himself, as Mr Justice Goss sentenced him to life for the murder of his wife Jessica.
The 37-year-old had subdued her with insulin, choked her with a bag and then throttled her with his hands as she fought for her life at their home in Middlesbrough on May 14.
Patel, who regularly cheated on his wife with men he met on the Grindr dating app, once told his secret lover Dr Amit Patel, who he described as his ‘soulmate’, that he married Jessica because she was in love with him and it would be a good cover for his true sexuality.
He committed murder ‘in the expectation of gain as a result of her death’, the judge said.
Patel then staged a robbery, ransacking the property to make it look like an intruder had killed his wife of nine years. But he made a series of fundamental errors, including a botched attempt to hide his home’s CCTV hard drive and leaving the duct tape he used to bind her body at their pharmacy.
His original alibi — that he had gone for a walk the night he killed her — was disproved when Cleveland Police used data from a health app on his iPhone to show his movements around the murder scene.
The judge told Patel that Jessica, who had undergone three courses of IVF, ‘clearly loved you and was a dutiful wife. She wanted nothing more than to have children and live a normal family life. The difficulty is that you had no sexual attraction to her; you were attracted to men’.
Mrs Patel was to some extent aware of her husband’s sexuality, the judge added. ‘She was lonely, often upset and controlled by you,’ he said.
‘With hindsight, it is apparent this was for your own selfish reasons and not with any intention of making her happy.’ The judge told Patel he was ‘needy and callous’ and used his wife while ‘indulging your own desires and whims’. Addressing Mrs Patel’s family, he said: ‘I would like to end this case by expressing the condolences of the court on the very sad loss of someone who was very clearly a kind and decent person.’
During a two-week trial at Teesside crown court, Jessica’s younger sister Divya Patel said: ‘The one thing we hope and prayed for above anything else was that in her final moments she did not suffer. The cruel reality is that she did suffer, she knew exactly who her killer was, and he mercilessly ignored her attempts to fight for her own life as he ended it. We can only imagine the fear and panic she must have felt knowing herself this was it.’
Addressing Patel in the dock, she added: ‘We do not just pray, we know, she will be free from you for ever. As will she rest in heaven, you will rot in hell.’