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Nurse guilty of wife's 'car crash' murder

A "sex mad" nurse who strangled his wife and tried to make it look as though she died in a car crash was convicted of murder today.

Brent Mott, 32, claimed he was acting in self-defence when he throttled Kate, 35, with her own pyjama top during a row over their divorce settlement, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Mott, who was planning a new life in Australia, then dressed his wife and put her in the family car and staged a crash in a farmer's field near their home in Southport, Merseyside.

The jury of nine men and three women took three and a half hours to convict the killer.

As the jury foreman delivered the verdict, Mott, dressed in a blue suit and shirt, nodded his head.

The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Henry Globe QC, said the father-of-two would be jailed for life.

But the minimum term he will serve will be decided tomorrow morning.

Outside court this afternoon, the victim's family issued a statement paying tribute to her.

They said: "Kate was a lovely caring person who always thought of others before herself.

"Her tragic death has devastated us as a family and she is greatly missed by all those who knew her.

"We would like to thank Merseyside Police for the hard work and continued support throughout this very emotional and traumatic time.

"Today's result comes as a huge relief to us. We can now begin to pick up the pieces and move forward to provide a safe and secure future for the children and Kate can now rest in peace."

Mott murdered the mother of his children, Olivia and Lewis, in the early hours of 21 January this year at their home in Everard Road, Southport.

He admitted strangling his wife, saying something went "pop" in his head causing him to lose self-control during a row about the future.

But he claimed she attacked him with a peeler knife and in trying to disarm her she fell and banged her head on the marble hearth of their fireplace.

He went on to strangle her with her pyjama top he said, though the prosecution believed he used something else.

The couple's marriage was at the centre of the court case.

Mrs Mott had filed for divorce after accusing him of being sex obsessed and repeatedly sexually abusing her.

The trial heard from two counsellors the couple had seen.

The analysts said the killer was obsessed with sex - or his lack of it - and he believed it lay at the root of saving his marriage.

For Christmas 2008, five days after giving birth to their son Lewis, Mrs Mott returned home where her husband presented her with presents of sex books and sex games.

His semen was found inside Mrs Mott during the post-mortem examination and the killer claimed they had consensual sex the day before the murder.

Detectives believed that was impossible given the acrimonious divorce and that he raped her before, during or after strangling her.

Mott repeatedly lied to police about his involvement.

Right up to the trial's start he continued to change his story - admitting he had given false accounts.

In the witness box his account was shambolic with him constantly refusing to answer questions properly.

Time and again the judge stopped him to point out inconsistencies in his story and give him another chance.

"Just think before you speak," he eventually snapped at him.

Mott's own barrister, David Steer QC, also seemed to eventually lose patience with him, instructing Mott to answer his questions with a simple yes or no.

Mott said after killing his wife, who worked with him as a nurse at Southport Hospital, he was going to drive her to work for help.

He changed her clothes, put her in the car along with a bottle of vodka and bottle of pills she took for a sore back.

He said he did not know why he included those - though police believe he was trying to make it look like she might have been suicidal.

Mott drove their Ford Focus to a farmer's field in Scarisbrick, Lancs, to stage a car crash, superficially damaging the car from the outside.

When police and paramedics arrived at the scene it was obvious the car had not been in a crash.

In the witness box, the killer claimed he blacked out and could not remember driving to the spot, staging the smash or getting home.

The next day he desperately tried to cover his tracks by sending texts to her, asking friends if they had seen her and eventually reporting her absence - and possible suicidal state - to the police.

Officers arrived at his house and quickly saw through his story.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Williams said: "Brent Mott was interviewed over several days and persisted in his lying account that he was not responsible for his wife's death.

"It was only on 29 June 2010 after Mott had been served with overwhelming evidence that he admitted killing Kate but denied her murder.

"He had no thought to Kate's family and friends who had to relive the tragic events by having to attend court and provide evidence during the trial.

"Kate was a devoted mother to her two young children and was about to start a new chapter in her life following the imminent divorce agreement.

"Brent Mott's obsessive jealousy would not allow this and he killed Kate in what can only be described as a despicable, vicious and brutal attack."