Beds, Herts & Bucks

Lee Anstice jailed for wife's Bedfordshire murder

Tracy Anstice
Image caption Tracy Anstice died after being stabbed in Flitwick

An estranged husband who murdered his wife outside her parents' Bedfordshire home has been jailed for 24 years.

Tracy Anstice, 37, died after Lee Anstice, 50, stabbed her four times in Flitwick on 26 August last year.

Judge Richard Foster at Luton Crown Court said he used military training to kill her "with brutal efficiency".

"An aggravating feature is that you chose to kill her where it would be witnessed by her parents and your eight-year-old daughter," he said.

On the day she was killed Mrs Anstice received a call from her husband saying he was going to visit their daughter.

Mrs Anstice went to her parents' home in Flitwick where her estranged husband was waiting for her in his car.

When his wife arrived, Anstice attacked her on the driveway with a knife he had bought earlier that day in a supermarket, the court heard.

He stabbed her four times and one blow penetrated her heart.

'Controlling and jealous'

Anstice denied murder and claimed he was severely depressed and hearing voices which had disturbed the balance of his mind. Judge Foster ordered him to serve a minimum of 24 years.

Mrs Anstice, 37, had consulted divorce solicitors and was seeing another man, Luton Crown Court heard.

Image caption Lee Anstice was waiting in a car near his wife's parent's home

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.

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 did not want you to do anything stupid and wanted you to remain in a relationship with your daughter.

"You thought only about yourself. You hatched a plot to confront her and kill her and then possibly kill yourself.

"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.

Mrs Anstice's family said in a joint statement after the trial that although "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."

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