Sheila Thomas murder: Man jailed for killing wife

David Thomas Image copyright Met Police
Image caption David Thomas, 73, was found by officers suffering from self-inflicted stab wounds to the stomach

A man who murdered his wife after she left him for a former lover who traced her via Facebook has been jailed.

David Thomas, 73, stabbed Sheila Thomas with a kitchen knife and bludgeoned her with a lump of wood at the family home in Herne Hill, south London.

The killing on 24 July happened after Mrs Thomas left her husband of 50 years for a man she had known as a teenager.

Judge Richard Marks QC jailed Thomas for a minimum of 15 years following a trial at the Old Bailey.

The court heard how Mrs Thomas had a fling with Victor Cassar in 1975 and they got together again after finding each other on Facebook.

When Thomas found out, he insisted his wife should move out of the family home in June 2018.

'Heart-rending' case

She returned to pick up belongings, believing Thomas would be out, but found him waiting for her, the court heard.

When police arrived at the scene, Thomas opened the door wearing a blood-soaked T-shirt and shorts, and had sustained self-inflicted stab wounds to his stomach, the court heard.

A jury convicted Thomas, who had claimed he lost control when his wife told him two of their children were not his.

Sentencing Thomas to life, Judge Marks told him: "This has been a truly tragic case for the entirety of your family."

He said the impact on them was "heart-rending in the extreme" and led to "divided loyalties".

"I'm sure in your over-wrought state you lost your temper and took that knife to the bedroom where you used it to stab her a number of times, including twice to the chest and to the head and struck her with a stick with sufficient force to break it."

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