Update: Scott Ellis jailed for 22 years after being found guilty of killing ex-partner with a claw hammer at her Martlesham home
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk man has been found guilty of beating his former partner to death with a claw hammer after she ended their relationship.
The body of Jane Bartholomew, 39, was discovered at her home in Lark Rise, Martlesham Heath, in June after her teenage daughter found the house locked and asked a neighbour for help, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
This afternoon, her former partner and the father of her three children Scott Ellis was found guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict after a trial. He has been sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment.
Police were called by a member of the public living in Lark Rise at around 8.55pm on June 13 with a report that there were concerns for a person living nearby whose family could not get a response from the house.
Police found Miss Bartholomew’s body in the living room with her arms and legs bound with nylon rope, and plastic bags over her head and feet.
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A post-mortem examination found she had suffered 22 blows to her head and had been strangled.
Ellis was arrested later the same day after he tried to kill himself.
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He admitted lying in wait for Miss Bartholomew at her home and attacking her with a hammer when she returned home from taking their two younger children to school.
“He said he felt he couldn’t live without her and didn’t want her to meet anyone else,” said Peter Gair, prosecuting.
He said in the days leading up to the alleged murder Ellis had put together a “killing kit” made up of a claw hammer, nylon rope, scissors, a modelling knife, freezer bags, bin liners, duct tape and a spade.
Ellis, 42, of Tunstall Green, who chose not to give evidence during the trial, had denied murder.
Witnesses confirmed that Ellis had told two friends that he wanted to kill Jane by hitting her with a hammer, putting her in a bag and dumping her body at sea.
Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team said: “With the findings of our investigation it was very apparent that this was a pre meditated murder by Scott Ellis. He deliberately went out and bought items which he later used to kill Jane Bartholomew with and tie her up.
“Jane had been hit around the head around 20 times and she had also sustained injuries to her arms and hands suggesting that she had put up a defensive fight against Ellis. It would appear that this was a murder fuelled by rejection and jealousy that Jane wanted to move on with her life.
“This was a terrible tragedy, not least because Jane’s body was discovered by her eldest daughter who raised the alarm when she became concerned for her mother’s well-being.
“Ellis denied murder throughout stating that he acted with diminished responsibility. Today’s verdict confirms that Ellis committed a premeditated murder which has tragically left three girls without their mother.
“We sincerely hope that the verdict and sentencing at court will help the family to now move on with their lives and help them come to terms with what has happened with the support of extended family around them.”