Husband found guilty of strangling his wife to death

18/12/2014

A husband who drugged and then strangled his wife to death in her home in Erdington, Birmingham has today been found guilty of her murder.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how the deceased, Luan Leigh, aged 42, and the 43-year-old defendant, Andrew Leigh had been in a relationship for 22 years, but a year before her death she had decided to separate from her husband and end their relationship.

The defendant was unable to accept this and tried on a number of occasions to reconcile with his wife, but to no avail.

On 28 June 2014, Andrew Leigh purchased some sleeping tablets and then visited the family home. Having administered the sleeping pills to incapacitate the victim, he later strangled her to death in her bed. He then waited several hours before ringing the emergency services, telling them that she had passed away in her sleep.

When paramedics arrived at the house, they found the body of Mrs. Leigh in the bedroom.

Suspecting foul play, they called the police and Leigh was arrested at the scene. He was charged with and today found guilty of her murder.

Emily Lenham, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Andrew Leigh's motivation for murdering Luan was jealousy; she had rejected his efforts to reconcile and having heard that she had met a new partner he decided to take revenge. 

"Luan Leigh had been separated from the defendant for over twelve months before her death. She had made it plain that she had no wish to reconcile with him, but he could not accept her wishes and pursued a course of conduct to try and convince her otherwise. His behaviour towards Luan prior to her murder was both controlling and manipulative.

"During the police investigation and prosecution of this case, the defendant lied repeatedly in order to cover the crime that he had committed. He initially maintained that his wife had died of natural causes, but later changed his account by saying that her death had been an accident. Today a jury rejected his explanation and found him guilty of murdering Luan.  

"The Crown Prosecution Service and police take all cases of domestic violence extremely seriously and will continue to work together to bring to justice those who commit such offences. We would like take this opportunity to offer our condolences to the family and friends of Luan Leigh."