Man found guilty of new wife's murder

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The Independent Online

Cheating newlywed Michael Roberts was tonight beginning life behind bars after being convicted of murdering his loving wife.

The Phones4U store manager had been married for just five months when he killed his wife Vicky, 25, on Sunday 29 November last year.

The pair had married in June but Roberts had already begun cheating on her with a colleague Kerrie Hall, 31.

He enjoyed "gymnastic sex" sessions with her before he was married and continued them at her North Wales home just a week after getting back from honeymoon - removing his wedding ring as they enjoyed a romp spiced up with sex aids.

Ms Hall told police Roberts had twice squeezed her neck during sex and that he "liked it rough".

After becoming bored of her, Roberts dumped her and fell in love with another work colleague, Karen Wilson, 26.

His wife, an account manager at Runcorn-based Banner Chemicals, discovered the affair and pleaded with him to end it and fix their marriage.

Roberts, 26, repeatedly lied to his wife claiming he had not slept with Ms Wilson and told her the affair was over.

At the same time, Roberts was falling rapidly in love with Ms Wilson, of Bangor, sending hundreds of texts a day and telling her he cried when he thought about the wedding they could have.

A week before he murdered his wife, Ms Wilson split up from her fiance and Roberts told her he had also left Vicky.

It was just one of scores of lies Roberts had told.

Today, he was jailed for a minimum of 17 years at Liverpool Crown Court.

Hearing the verdict, he sobbed and the court had to take a break before he could continue.

The judge, Mr Justice Royce, told him: "No words can adequately express the terrible effect that her early death has had upon her family and friends.

"You cheated on her and deceived her during your relationship, before you married and throughout your short marriage.

"She deserved much better than you.

"I am satisfied that after your enthusiastic sexual relationship with Kerrie Hall, you abandoned her for Karen Wilson with whom you became obsessed."

Roberts claimed he accidentally strangled his wife with a bathrobe cord during a kinky sex game.

But investigators proved the cord could not have caused a series of zig-zag marks on her neck.

The real murder weapon was never found.

Rather than call an ambulance to their flat in Partington Square, Runcorn, Roberts dumped his wife's body on their sofa for several hours before storing it in the spare room.

That night he had four long phone conversations with Ms Wilson, who noticed nothing different about him.

He ended the evening by texting her: "Good night, beautiful, sweet dreams xx".

The next day he took her shopping to Chester and had sex with her.

Days later he was caught on CCTV at Asda in Winsford buying items to wrap the body. After completing that task Roberts hid it in the garage.

He used his wife's mobile phone to send messages, pretending she was alive and had left him for another man.

But her suspicious family alerted police who discovered her remains.

Roberts fled but was caught three days later in Wrexham.

Speaking outside court, Detective Inspector Jo Miller, the senior investigating officer, said: "There is no doubt Vicky Roberts married the man of her dreams in June 2009.

"She was described as 'brimming over with happiness' on her wedding day.

"She wanted to make her marriage work at any cost and was willing to forgive him time and time again.

"But Michael Roberts couldn't accept his own failings and finish his relationship with Karen Wilson.

"This is no doubt the cause of Vicky's death."

The detective added: "Vicky's family can now at last start to bring some closure to this tragedy.

"They have had to endure the investigation and they have been put through weeks of listening to personal, intimate details about their daughter's life.

"They've also had to listen to details of the sordid affairs and sexual antics of Michael Roberts."