Chilling moment wife killer pharmacist called 999 claiming raiders had tied up and murdered her

Mitesh Patel was today jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years for suffocating Jessica with at Tesco bag-for-life at their Middlesbrough home.

Patel injected his wife to subdue her when she came home from work on May 14, then strangled her with the bag before faking a break-in.

He was convicted of her murder after data from his iPhone health app showed how he had frantically climbed up and down stairs while staging the scene.

Patel then dialled 999 and coolly said: "Oh hiya, I think we've been burgled and my wife's been attacked."

The couple ran a successful pharmacy together but their marriage was unhappy, with Patel repeatedly seeking sex with men on the Grindr dating app.

He was in a secret relationship with his "soulmate" Dr Amit Patel, who had emigrated to Sydney and with whom he hoped to bring up his and Jessica's IVF baby.

CCTV footage from outside the couple's home also showed Jessica entering the property for the final time and no-one else coming or going until the body was discovered.

After the murder, police discovered syringes prepared with insulin in Patel's laptop bag and one was empty.

Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, said: "From various life insurance policies Mitesh Patel stood to profit from his wife's death to the tune of £2 million.

"He was planning to use that money to start a new life in Australia shared with the person he really loved … another man named Dr Amit Patel."

Transcript of Patel's chilling 999 call

Operator: Police emergency.

Patel: Oh hiya, I think we've been burgled and my wife's been attacked.

Operator: Whereabouts? What's the address?

Patel: We're on number 35, The Avenue in Middlesbrough, Linthorpe.

Operator: Right, so is that where your wife is now?

Patel: Yeah, well I've just come home, I was just out, I went to get something to eat and see the lads at work and get my laptop and I've just come home and the house is ransacked. She's just on the floor, she's got duct tape all over her and she's unconscious.

Operator: Right

Patel: Shall I take this duct tape off her?

Operator: Can she breathe?

Patel: No… because she's (inaudible)

Operator: Take the duct tape off her then

Patel: Please can you send someone quickly?


Operator: I'm going to get someone straight out OK?

Patel: How long will they be?

Operator: I'm going to get them travelling on blue lights and we're going to get an ambulance straight out as well, OK?

Patel: OK.

Operator: Is your wife breathing? Can you feel a pulse?

Patel: No. I can't feel anything, her hand's really cold.

Operator: How long have you been out of the house?

Patel: About an hour.

Despite his repeated infidelity with men he met on Grindr and also being in love with Dr Patel, the killer desperately tried to persuade his wife to have a baby using IVF.

When she voiced her doubts about going through with the process, the husband texted her: "Ok then I'm telling you this then we are parting ways."

But she did eventually go through three cycles of the fertility treatment and the last was successful, resulting in three embryos which now lie frozen in a Darlington clinic.

During cross-examination, Patel said he had not tried CPR because he lost his "bearings" and panicked.

Mr Justice Goss sentenced Patel to life and passed a minimum term of 30 years, saying: "You have no remorse for your actions.

"Any pity you have is for yourself.

"As the police investigation progressed, the full extent of your attitude and behaviour towards Jessica over the nine years of your marriage was revealed.

"She clearly loved you and was a dutiful wife.

"She wanted nothing more than to have children and live a normal family life.

"The difficulty is that you had no sexual attraction to her; you were attracted to men."

Mrs Patel was to some extent aware of her husband's sexuality, the judge said.

"She was lonely, often upset and controlled by you," he told Patel.

"With hindsight, it is apparent this was for your own selfish reasons and not with any intention of making her happy."

The judge told Patel he was "needy and callous" and used his wife while "indulging your own desires and whims".

The judge had earlier heard victim statements from Mrs Patel's grandmother, father and siblings.

The victim's younger sister Divya Patel addressed her brother-in-law in the dock, saying: "We do not just pray, we know, she will be free from you for ever.

"As will she rest in heaven, you will rot in hell."

The judge praised Cleveland Police's use of data from the defendant's health app on his iPhone to show his movements around the murder scene.

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