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Former UKIP councillor Stephen Searle alleged to have murdered wife after she discovered his affair with daughter-in-law

PUBLISHED: 14:09 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:09 09 July 2018

Stephen Searle Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Stephen Searle Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

A former UKIP councillor from Stowmarket murdered his wife after she discovered he had been having an affair with their daughter-in-law, it has been alleged.

Former Royal Marine Stephen Searle was trained in unarmed combat and probably used a particular way of killing someone called a “chokehold” to kill his 62-year-old wife Anne in December last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, told the court that Searle made a telephone call to Suffolk police at 10.19pm on December 30 last year and told the call handler: “I’ve just killed my wife.”

Asked how he killed her he said he said he had suffocated her.

“It’s the prosecution case the killing of his wife was done quite deliberately by him strangling her to death. Why did he do it? The prosecution say this alleged murder had its roots firmly in the discovery by Mrs Searle that the defendant had been having an affair with their daughter-in-law.”

Mr Jackson said Mrs Searle had discovered her husband’s infidelity with their daughter-in-law Anastasia Pomiateeva in June last year and this had put considerable strain on their marriage of 45 years.

“The prosecution say on that Saturday night there had probably been another row between them and in anger the defendant strangled his wife to death,” said Mr Jackson.

The court heard that Searle had been employed as manager of Solar Bowl in Sproughton Road, Ipswich and Miss Pomiateeva and Searle’s son Gary had also worked there.

Miss Pomiateeva and Searle had started a sexual relationship in April 2017 during which they had exchanged messages and explicit pictures and it was Mrs Searle’s finding of some of that material that led to her discovery of the affair.

Mr Jackson told the court that as a young man Searle had been a Royal Marine and had continued his involvement with the Royal Marines throughout his life by attending meetings with former colleagues and with Royal Marine cadets who met at Newmarket and Mildenhall.

Mr Jackson said as a former Royal Marine Searle was trained in unarmed combat and was familiar with a particular way of killing someone called a “chokehold”.

Mr Jackson explained that this involved standing behind someone with an arm round their throat and applying sufficient pressure to compress the neck and strangling the person to death.

“That technique was well known to him and it is that technique he probably used to kill his wife,” alleged Mr Jackson.

Searle was arrested following the death of his wife at their home in The Brickfields, Stowmarket on December 30 last year.

Searle, 64, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Today the trial judge Mr Justice Saunders told the jury that Searle claimed that his actions which led to the death of his wife were in self-defence.

Searle stood for UKIP in the Suffolk County Council elections, securing a seat for Stowmarket South in May 2013.

Searle also ran as a UKIP candidate for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat in a bid to become a member of Parliament in last year’s June general election.

The trial which is expected to last seven days continues.

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