George Gallagher jailed for murder of wife in Rotherham

Image caption, George Gallagher denied killing his wife

The estranged husband of a woman found stabbed to death at her Rotherham house has been jailed for life for her murder.

Julie Ann Gallagher's body was found by a relative at the house in Foljambe Road, Eastwood, in March 2010.

A jury at Sheffield Crown Court convicted husband George Gallagher, 55, of Eldon Road, for her murder and he was ordered to serve at least 20 years.

Ms Gallagher's family described him as an "evil, dominating man".

Mr Gallagher was also found guilty of a serious assault on Julie in 2009.

Ms Gallagher, 41, died from a single stab wound to the chest.

'Abusive marriage'

Det Supt Colin Fisher said: "Julie Gallagher died at the brutal hands of her estranged husband.

"The prosecution team was able to demonstrate Julie had suffered an abusive married life culminating in a serious assault in November 2009.

"George Gallagher was on bail for that assault when he went to Foljambe Road with murderous intent.

Image caption, Ms Gallagher was last seen as she left a pub alone in the early hours

"The jury accepted he had once again manipulated Julie into letting him into her house whereupon he used a knife to threaten and then ultimately kill her.

"George Gallagher sought to mislead the investigation and the jury, suggesting someone else must be responsible.

"Scrutiny of small items of forensic evidence linked to an obvious motivation to kill and an absence of alibi allowed us to gain a clear picture of his crime."

'Pain and hurt'

Det Supt Fisher paid tribute to the bravery of three of Mr Gallagher's ex-partners who gave evidence about "the full potential of George's brutality".

Ms Gallagher's family said they were relieved to have "closure" but still needed answers.

In a statement they said: "We have sat in court over the last few weeks, hoping to hear answers from George Gallagher to answer the question why.

"However, he still fails to admit the pain and hurt he caused to Julie.

"He is an evil, dominating and controlling man who has shown no compassion or remorse since Julie's death."

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