Belsize Park man sentenced to life for murdering his wife


Jose Leonardo, 56, was today (17 November) sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 22 years for murdering his wife Maria Mbombo in their home in Belsize Park on 18 May this year. Leonardo was convicted of murder on Monday at the Central Criminal Court. He was found not guilty of a charge of perverting the course of justice.

Aisling Hosein, reviewing lawyer from the CPS London homicide team, said: "Leonardo was a possessive, controlling and abusive man with a history of violence against his wife Maria. He set out on 18 May to murder her and stabbed her repeatedly with a knife. The nature of the wounds meant she will have slowly bled to death, but he made no attempt to call for help.

"He claimed he had been provoked by his wife to lose control during an argument, and was instead guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. However, the prosecution was able to prove he had planned the attack earlier in the day, which showed clear intent. That afternoon he even used a search engine to look for the most painful place to stab someone.

"This is a cruel man whose actions have had tragic consequences, ripping apart a family and leaving three children without a mother. He will now serve a life sentence for his crimes."