Man jailed for life for murdering his wife

24/05/2011

A Bracknell man has today been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his wife in Bracknell last year, and to two years for setting fire to her car, to run concurrently. He will serve a minimum of 26 years.

Jon Clinton (45) of Inchwood, Bracknell, was found guilty of the two charges (murder and arson) at Reading Crown Court yesterday. He was sentenced this afternoon by Judge Zoe Smith to 26 years for the murder and two years for arson, to run concurrently. He will serve a minimum of 26 years, minus 187 days already spent in custody.

Clinton was arrested on suspicion of murder on 15 November 2010, after the body of his wife Dawn (33) was discovered at the family home in Inchwood. He was charged on the evening of 17 November 2010.

CPS case lawyer, Sarita Basra, said: "Jon Clinton was a controlling husband and couldnt accept Dawn's increasing independence, so he killed her in cold blood, driven by jealousy and anger.

"However, he has been brought before the courts where the jury listened to the evidence and convicted him of murder and arson. He has today been sentenced for his crimes and will spend a minimum of 26 years in prison.

"Our thoughts are with Dawn's family. We hope that this outcome brings some closure to them."

Det Sgt Phil Jones, officer in the case, said: "The jury has found that Dawn lost her life to a partner whose actions were not attributable to some abnormality of mind, but to blind selfish rage and to a calculated plan to cause maximum pain to her and those who loved her.

"Clinton has protested his innocence ever since murdering his wife. However, I am pleased that the jury has convicted him. Nothing will ever bring Dawn back. She is missed by her children, family and friends. However, I hope today's sentence goes some way in helping them to move forward."

Background:

Police attended the marital home after they received a fear for welfare call from Dawn's mother at 4.28pm on 15 November 2010. Once inside the property, officers found Mrs Clinton's body. They also became aware of movement on the floor above, where they found Clinton standing at the open loft hatch, intoxicated, with a noose around his neck. Officers tried to get Clinton to remove the noose and come down from the loft, however he did not comply. Eventually, he slipped over and officers were able to arrest him on suspicion of murder.

Before climbing into the loft, Clinton had turned on the gas cooker, not igniting it, filling the house with gas. As a result, nearby houses had to be evacuated for a short time as part of a precautionary measure.

A post-mortem examination found that Mrs Clinton died of head injuries and asphyxia.

On the day Mrs Clinton was murdered, she was supposed to be returning to her parents' home address, where she had been staying for the previous two weeks, since leaving her husband to 'escape an abusive and controlling relationship', as described by her mother. However, she did not return and police were contacted.

Earlier that day, at around 2pm, Mrs Clinton was dropped off to her home address in Inchwood by her mother, as she needed to collect some insurance paperwork.

The paperwork was needed because Mrs Clinton's Land Rover was found burnt out in the car park at Bracknell Leisure Centre the previous day (15/11). At the time, Mrs Clinton, who had a passion for off-road driving, was unaware that her husband was responsible for the arson that had destroyed her means of independence.