Man jailed for life for murdering wife - Bracknell

04/09/2012

A Bracknell man has today, Tuesday, 04 September 2012, been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his wife in Bracknell in 2010.

Jon-Jacques Clinton, 46, formerly of Inchwood, Bracknell, unexpectedly pleaded guilty to murdering his wife on the first day of his re-trial at Reading Crown Court yesterday, Monday, 03 September 2012.  He was sentenced today, Tuesday, 04 September 2012, to life imprisonment and is to serve a minimum of 20-years.

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

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Jon-Jacques Clinton was a controlling husband and couldn't accept Dawn's increasing independence, so he killed her in cold blood, driven by jealousy and anger.  His 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.

"He was convicted by a jury of the offence in May 2011, but continued to protest his innocence and appealed against the conviction.  His conviction was subsequently quashed by the Court of Appeal in January this year when judges ruled he could use the defence that he lost control, after learning his wife was having an affair.  He was brought back before the courts for a re-trial where he unexpectedly pleaded guilty. He has today been sentenced for his crime and will spend a minimum of 20-years in prison.

"Our thoughts are very much with Dawn's family and friends at this time.  We hope that this outcome finally brings some closure to them."

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 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.  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.  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.