Cheating pharmacist 'killed wife with Tesco bag' to cash in on £2m life insurance and run away with male lover, court hears

Mitesh Patel was planning to use the money to start a new life in Australia, prosecutors say

Toyin Owoseje@toyinreports
Thursday 15 November 2018 23:18
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She met her victim on Grindr
She met her victim on Grindr

A pharmacist killed his wife with a Tesco Bag in bid to claim a £2m insurance payout and move to Australia with a man he met on the Grindr dating app, a court heard.

Mitesh Patel, 37, is accused of strangling and suffocating Jessica Patel to death at their Middlesbrough home.

The 34-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services found her on the morning of 14 May, a jury at Teesside Crown Court was told.

“Jessica Patel had been killed as a result of pressure being brought to bear on her neck. She was strangled,” Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting said.

”The prosecution case was that a plastic shopping bag, a Tesco Bag For Life, was used both as a ligature and to suffocate her.“

Mr Patel was initially treated as a witness until police found three scratches on his neck,

Mr Campbell said the defendant had ”ample“ motive for the killing, as there were various life insurance policies in his wife's name.

”He was planning to use the money to start a new life in Australia and that life would be shared with the person who he really loved, one who he regarded as his soul mate - another man,“ Mr Campbell said. "The prosecution case was that a plastic shopping bag, ironically a Tesco Bag For Life, was used both as a ligature and to suffocate her."

The couple, who ran a pharmacy together, met at university, he added. But Mr Patel cheated on his wife with men he met through dating app Grindr.

"He was planning to use the money to start a new life in Australia and that life would be shared with the person who he really loved, one who he regarded as his soul mate - another man," he added.

Internet searches stretching back more than five years revealed that Mr Patel explored how much insulin was needed to kill a healthy non-diabetic, as his wife was.

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He also searched “Life after loss of spouse”, “The death of spouse, rebuilding your life after the first year” and “How do I arrange a funeral”.

Mr Patel, who denies murder, claimed he came in from a walk in the local area to find the house had been burgled.

But jurors were told that he left the house after killing his spouse and was noticed to be behaving strangely.

On his return, he “staged” the break-in by ransacking his home and tried to hide the hard drive of the house CCTV system in a suitcase of clothes under a mattress.

The trial continues.

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