Crowbar killer jailed for battering wife of 22 years to death

15 October 2019, 12:20

David Pomphret has been jailed for murdering his wife Ann Marie
David Pomphret has been jailed for murdering his wife Ann Marie. Picture: Cheshire Police

By Kate Buck

A "quiet" computer expert who battered his wife to death with a crowbar in a "frenzied" attack has been jailed for life.

David Pomphret, 51, beat Ann Marie, 49, over the head with the weapon over 30 times at the stables where they kept horses near their family homes in Winwick, Cheshire, on 2 November.

Pomphret has been ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years before becoming eligible for parole.

After the killing, Pomphret dialled 999, telling police he had found his wife of 22 years "very dead" lying in a pool of her own blood.

He told them: "There is brain and blood everywhere, and it looks like she has had her head beaten in."

The dad-of-one, who had 18-year-old daughter Megan with Ann Marie, claimed he was innocent of her murder but was "undone" after a speck of Ann Marie's "airborne blood" was found on his socks, putting him at the scene of the crime.

David Pomphret, 51, will serve at least 20 years behind bars
David Pomphret, 51, will serve at least 20 years behind bars. Picture: Cheshire Police
Ann Marie was beaten over the head 30 times
Ann Marie was beaten over the head 30 times. Picture: Cheshire Police

Lawyers said Pomphret believed he had committed the "perfect murder", but he changed his story, claiming a "special defence" of a temporary loss of control due to his "volatile" wife's behaviour.

Mrs Pomphret had a number of issues, including being on the autism spectrum, suffering Asperger syndrome, and had recently had treatment for cancer.

However, the judge said Pomphret had "grossly misrepresented" his wife's behaviour.

The jury was told he admitted manslaughter, tearfully telling the court he "killed the woman I loved".

The Barclays Bank IT worker was convicted of murder last Friday after a two-week trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

This is the crowbar used to beat Ann Marie
This is the crowbar used to beat Ann Marie. Picture: Cheshire Police

Passing sentence, Judge David Aubrey told Pomphret he had meticulously tried to cover his tracks and may well have got away with this murder but added: "You forgot to change your socks.

"It was a web of deceit and lies. In my judgment you are an accomplished liar.

"She had defensive injuries to both her hands. She must have been pleading and begging for you to stop.

"You had had enough of her, saw the opportunity that presented itself that night to kill her and did so."

On the day of the murder, Pomphret went to work, then the couple went shopping at Asda before visiting their stables near their home to check on their horses, the court heard.

The couple pictured on the day of the murder
The couple pictured on the day of the murder. Picture: Cheshire Police

The defendant had claimed he needed to pick up tools to fix the shower at home, but his wife began "ranting", taunting him about his erectile dysfunction and calling him "useless" and "limp".

Pomphret said he then lost control and attacked her with the crowbar before panicking and "stupidly" deciding to cover his tracks.

He claimed to remember nothing of the attack

Pomphret then washed the blood off his hands, threw the crowbar in a pond and burned and discarded bloodstained clothes. But he had failed to get rid of his socks, which would "come back to haunt him", the jury heard.

Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, told the jury it was a "huge mistake" placing him at the crime scene. He had then tried to "pull the wool" over the jury's eyes by claiming he simply lost control with his wife.

Their daughter Megan was present in court for the sentencing, supported by family members.

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