Man jailed for murdering his wife

|News, Violent crime , Domestic abuse

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years for murdering his wife.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court on 17 July convicted Stephen Searle, 64, of murdering his wife Anne, 62, at their home in Stowmarket. The pair had been married for 45 years and have three children.

Stephen Searle had been involved in an extra-marital affair which Anne had discovered, leading to considerable strain between the couple. On 30 December 2017 he strangled her to death and then waited an hour before calling 999. Despite the efforts of police and paramedics, Anne was declared dead at the scene.

Douglas Mackay from the CPS said: "This was a deliberate and violent act which resulted in the death of Anne Searle, who should have been safe in her own home.

“Stephen Searle admitted to a 999 call operator that he had killed his wife, however he maintained throughout the trial that he had acted in self-defence.

“However, the CPS called evidence that Searle, who had served as a Royal Marine, may have applied a ‘choke hold’ to Anne’s neck which rendered her unconscious‎. He continued to strangle her for several minutes, leading to her death. He then waited a full hour before dialing 999.

“The CPS worked closely with Suffolk Constabulary to build a strong prosecution case which proved Stephen Searle deliberately killed his wife following months of tension after she discovery evidence of his infidelity.

“His brutal and callous actions resulted in the death of a dearly loved mother and friend. Our thoughts are with Anne’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Notes to editors

  • Douglas Mackay is a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor with CPS East of England
  • Stephen Searle was convicted of murder and was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 14 years at Ipswich Crown Court on 18 July 2018.


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