A pharmacist who murdered his wife to claim $2 million in life insurance and set up a new life in Australia with his boyfriend has been jailed for life. Mitesh Patel, 37, was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years at Teesside Crown Court for the murder of his wife Jessica at their Middlesbrough home.
Patel staged a burglary and claimed an intruder had been the true killer, but evidence from his own CCTV, internet searches and a health and fitness app on his phone exposed him.
Patel had cheated on his wife with other men he met on Grindr and other gay dating apps and planned to emigrate to Australia to be with his ‘soul mate’ Amit Patel.
He strangled Jessica to death after searching ‘I want to kill my wife’ online and watching videos on strangulation.
A jury convicted him of murder after four hours of deliberations on Tuesday. Jessica’s family read out three statements about the ‘loyal and devoted daughter and sister’, before Mr Justice Goss delivered the sentence on Wednesday.
Patel strangled his 34-year-old wife to death in their Middlesbrough home on the evening of 14 May. Then he ransacked his own home in a staged burglary, binding his wife’s wrists and ankles with duct tape. Prosecutors said he then headed to the pharmacy he and his wife owned on Roman Road to set up an alibi.
He then texted his wife’s phone about food, and ordered pizza to create the illusion of an ordinary evening.
In his 999 call, Patel pretended to cry and begged ‘come on baby, wake up’. The court heard that Patel stood to make £2 million from Jessica’s life insurance policy.