Teacher guilty of fiancee's murder

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The Independent Online

A philandering music teacher who led a double life while dating a string of women was found guilty today of the brutal murder of his fiancee.

Andrew Lindo, 29, strangled, battered and stabbed Marie Stewart to death before storing her body in a flight bag in the garage.

Hours after killing Miss Stewart, Lindo put their two young children in his car and went to collect his latest lover, Angela Rylance.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard how an unwitting Miss Rylance spent the night with Lindo in the bedroom where the fatal attack took place and two floors above the garage where Miss Stewart's body was hidden.

Miss Stewart's mother Helen was in tears after the jury of four women and eight men returned their verdict after less than an hour of deliberation.

Other members of the family, including her sister, Katie, were also crying in the packed public gallery. Lindo, who wore a grey suit and was flanked by two security officers, showed little emotion.

The jury rejected his claim that he lost control following a row with Miss Stewart, during which he accused her of mistreating their young daughter.

Miss Stewart, 30, described as a caring and devoted mother who worked with disabled children, was set upon by Lindo while their two children were asleep in the house in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

Lindo - described as an "inveterate and accomplished liar" - had been living a double life, having affairs with a number of women. There was also an allegation he was involved with a 15-year-old girl.

The jury was told Lindo admitted killing his partner but denied murder.

He did not give evidence from the witness box but described to police how he first strangled Miss Stewart and then, when she was still making noises, hit her with a child's chair and tried to choke her with a belt.

He dragged her down to the basement garage in a suitcase and finally killed her by stabbing her 12 times with a kitchen knife.

The court heard he then stored her body in a flight bag in the garage of their town house on Perseverance Place, Holmfirth.

The jury heard he comforted his children after murdering their mother and carried on as normal.

He collected Miss Rylance within hours of killing Miss Stewart and took her back to the house, where they cuddled through the night.

Prosecutors said womanising Lindo has lost his temper with Miss Stewart.

For seven weeks he convinced Miss Stewart's family and friends she was still alive, setting up an elaborate smokescreen using Facebook and her mobile phone texting service.

He convinced people she had left him and her two children, and moved abroad.

Prosecutors said Lindo put Miss Stewart's family through "mental torture" as he blackened her name, painting a picture of how she deserted her young family for another man.

Lindo posted a message on her Facebook profile saying she was having "fun in the sun".

But, when friends and family became suspicious, the police were called. They searched the house and Miss Stewart's body was found on February 13.

Lindo will be sentenced tomorrow.