Wife killer given life sentence

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A HOSPITAL technician was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the murder of his pregnant wife who was found hanged in the garage of their home, writes Jason Bennetto.

There were cheers from the public gallery when the verdict on Eddie Gilfoyle, 31, was returned at Liverpool Crown Court after 15 hours of deliberations by the jury.

Gilfoyle had denied murdering his 33-year-old wife, Paula, who was eight months pregnant, on 4 June last year. He stretched out his arms as he was being led to the cells and said to the public gallery: 'I am still innocent.'

The 17-day trial was told that Mrs Gilfoyle was found hanging in the garage of the couple's home in Upton, Merseyside. Detectives found a suicide note in her handwriting, but the prosecution alleged that it was planted by her husband.

Gilfoyle told police he loved his wife but admitted having an affair with a woman who worked at the same private hospital. Police believe he persuaded his wife to write the note after telling her he was doing a course on suicide. He may have used the same pretext to set up the fake suicide.

Mrs Gilfoyle was found dangling on a rope, her feet barely touching a ladder. The prosecution said she was not tall enough to have been able to put up the rope.

Three witnesses told the court Gilfoyle was interested in suicide. He had also told people his wife was frightened by childbirth, but friends said she was looking forward to the birth.

Gilfoyle intends to appeal against his sentence.

Susan Dubost, Mrs Gilfoyle's sister, said: 'She (Paula) was delighted with the prospect of the baby. She had a scan and showed the photos round like holiday snaps.' Paula married Gilfoyle, who was divorced, in June 1989.