Mum’s murder has effectively left us as orphans, say eldest daughter of Martlesham homicide victim Jane Bartholomew

Scott Ellis

Scott Ellis - Credit: Archant

Three children have effectively been left orphans after their father was jailed for life for the “savage” murder of their mother.

Jane Bartholomew

Jane Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Scott Ellis hit 39-year-old Jane Bartholomew on the head 22 times with a claw hammer after lying in wait for her at her Martlesham Heath home after she ended their relationship, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Ellis, 42, of Tunstall Green, denied murdering Miss Bartholomew on June 13 but was found guilty after a jury rejected his defence of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibilty.

Ordering unemployed Ellis to serve a minimum of 22 years before he can be considered for release, Judge David Goodin said an experienced psychiatrist who gave evidence during the trial had described the killing of Miss Bartholomew as “one of the most savage, if not the worst” he had come across.

During the sentencing Miss Bartholomew’s eldest daughter Jordan, 16, revealed the heartbreak her father had caused.

In a victim personal statement she said: “The loss of my mum has just completely crushed me.

“The things that get overlooked are usually the most important, especially in a teenage girl’s life.

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“Because of this I didn’t get to see my mum alive on my last day of high school.

“She wasn’t able to be there for my prom, my 16th birthday, my exam results day, or first day of college. I then didn’t get to be there properly for her on her 40th birthday and now me and my two sisters are facing our first Christmas together without mum.

“This has not only destroyed all that me and my two sisters knew. It has also basically made us orphans.”

During Ellis’ week-long trial the court heard he couldn’t accept his relationship with Miss Bartholomew was over, and after killing her told police he couldn’t live without her.

“I am satisfied that you saw no way out and resolved in anger and revenge to murder her,” said the judge.

He said that after making up his mind to kill Miss Bartholomew, Ellis had purchased a claw hammer “especially for the job of killing her” from a local hardware shop.

On the morning of the killing he let himself into her home in Lark Rise, Martlesham Heath, with a “murder bag” containing the hammer, nylon rope, duct tape, a Stanley knife and plastic bags.

After lying in wait for Miss Bartholomew while she took two of their children to school he grabbed her from behind and rained “20 smashing blows” down on her head.

“It was a savage murder,” said the judge.

Judge Goodin said although Miss Bartholomew hadn’t died immediately her “extreme terror and suffering” wouldn’t have lasted long as she would have lost consciousness within one or two minutes.

He said that because of his general low mood Ellis had been “unsuited constitutionally” to deal with the stress of the break-up of his relationship with Miss Bartholomew.

The court heard that after killing Miss Bartholomew Ellis had tied up her arms and legs with rope and placed plastic bags over her head and feet.

He had then left the house and returned to his home in Tunstall where he tried to kill himself.

Miss Bartholomew’s body was found after her 15-year-old daughter returned home from school and found the house locked.

Police officers forced their way in and found Miss Bartholomew’s body on the living room floor and Ellis was later arrested at Ipswich Hospital where he had been taken for treatment after his suicide bid.

Tony Cross QC, for Ellis, said his client had been suffering from some form of mental disorder at the time of the killing.