A pharmacist suffered years of abuse before her “evil” husband strangled her to death with a plastic bag to start a new life with his gay lover, a review into her death found.
Jessica Patel, 34, was strangled by her husband Mitesh, 37, at their home in May 2018 in a premeditated attack so he could start a new life with his boyfriend in Australia.
Mitesh Patel, who was also a pharmacist, spent five years planning her murder so he could use her frozen embryos to have a family with a lover he met on gay dating app Grindr.
The had also planned to claim a £2m life insurance payout and tried to cover his tracks by staging a break-in and claiming an intruder must have murdered his wife.
But his lies were exposed when the health app on his iPhone recorded frantic activity as he raced around the house after her death.
He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years after a jury took just two hours and 50 minutes to convict him of murder.
A 74-page domestic homicide review into Jessica’s death called for the murder to be classed as an “honour killing”.
The review suggested that the only way that Patel “may have felt able to leave the marriage with honour” was by killing his wife.
And it found there were signs that Jessica was being domestically abused by her husband during their nine-year marriage.
Her family listed a string of examples of domestic abuse and “controlling and coercive behaviour” which were highlighted in the probe.
The panel said that the individual examples on their own “may not have seemed significant or alerted them of concerns”.
But when put together, it would have shown that she was the victim of controlling behaviour and abuse.
The report said Jessica had told her younger sister her husband “hit her in the car” in arguments that he had stopped her from seeing more of her dying grandfather.
It added that Jessica “stopped speaking up about things” and “appeared scared” when it came to committing to attending family events.
Other Incidents included
– Patel shouting at his wife in front of colleagues and customers at the pharmacy they ran together
– Patel moving his wife to Middlesbrough from Halifax, West York., which her family said was to isolate her
– Patel throwing a phone at her injuring her leg
The report added: “This became repetitive and destroyed Jessica’s confidence.”
Jessica’s family told the probe how her husband was a “compulsive liar” and made up how she was “pregnant with twins”.
The report said: “This was untrue and Jessica was upset when she then had to tell the member of staff the truth.
“Mitesh thought it was funny and Jessica’s family believe he was using her desire, to conceive and bear a child, against her as a way of exercising control.”
The panel said that Jessica sought help from a GP for anxiety but there was “no evidence” she was explicitly asked about domestic abuse.
It added: “Research suggests that women experiencing domestic abuse are more likely to experience a mental health problem, while women with mental health problems are more likely to be domestically abused.
“In cases of mental health problems, health professionals should always consider asking a direct question of the patient.”
The panel’s report said Jessica underwent fertility treatment as she desperately wanted to be a mother, but she did now know that her husband was taking drugs to stifle his sperm count.
Three months before her murder, Jessica told her younger sister that her husband had put her hands around her neck and hurt her, the report said.
The panel drew up seven recommendations to prevent future tragedies including training health care staff to better identify signs of domestic abuse.
Jessica’s heartbroken family paid tribute to her in the report, stating: “Heaven has gained an angel but the world is at a loss for it.
“Jessica was a rarity: she was beautiful on the outside, and even more so on the inside.
“She had a truly selfless soul and afforded everyone she met with a kindness and generosity that was second to none.
“As the first born in our family, she brought an immense amount of joy.
“She had this lovable smile which encapsulated her gentle nature and innocence, and would make our house feel like a home.
“She had her whole life ahead of her, a life in which she simply wished for true love, a family of her own and to live happily ever after.
“Above all, her greatest wish was to be a mother, to share the love she had in her heart and feel the same happiness she afforded to our family as a child.
“She deserved to have a wonderful life, but these wishes will now remain unfulfilled.
“We are extremely blessed to have had Jessica in our lives.”