Judge blasts Barclays executive, 51, as 'an accomplished liar' as he jails him for life after he battered his wife to death then shed crocodile tears claiming to have found her body

  • David Pomphret, 51, beat wife Ann Marie, 49, to death at their home in Cheshire 
  • Trial heard she was ranting at him and hit him before he snapped last November 
  • He bludgeoned her more than 30 times leaving her in a pool of blood in Winwick  
  • Held head in his hands and feigned devastation during his first police interview 
  • Told today he would have to serve a minimum of 20 years in prison for murder

A Barclays executive who battered his wife to death with a crowbar then shed crocodile tears while claiming to have found her body was today jailed for life by a judge who called him 'an accomplished liar'. 

Bespectacled computer expert David Pomphret, 51, struck 49-year-old Ann Marie more than 30 times over the head at the stables where they kept horses near their home in Winwick, Cheshire, last November 2. 

Pomphret protested his innocence, holding his head in his hands in fake horror during an initial police interview inside an ambulance. But he was 'undone' after a speck of blood on his socks showed he was at the scene.

Judge David Aubrey told Pomphret he had meticulously tried to cover his tracks and may well have got away with this murder but added: 'You forgot to change your socks.

'It was a web of deceit and lies. In my judgment you are an accomplished liar. She had defensive injuries to both her hands. She must have been pleading and begging for you to stop.

'You had had enough of her, saw the opportunity that presented itself that night to kill her and did so.' 

This is the moment David Pomphret pretended to have found his wife's dead body. In reality, he had shockingly murdered her, then covered up his crimes by burning his clothes and throwing the murder weapon into a pond, and then lying about what happened

This is the moment David Pomphret pretended to have found his wife's dead body. In reality, he had shockingly murdered her, then covered up his crimes by burning his clothes and throwing the murder weapon into a pond, and then lying about what happened

After the murder, Pomphret dialled 999 saying he had found his wife of 22 years lying in a pool of blood looking 'very dead'. He told the operator: 'There is brain and blood everywhere, and it looks like she has had her head beaten in.' 

He was given bail but re-arrested four months later after police found 'airborne blood' on his socks, which was dubbed a 'huge mistake'.

The murderer then had to change his story, the jury was told, and admitted manslaughter, tearfully telling Liverpool Crown Court he 'killed the woman I loved'. 

Instead he blamed his 'volatile' wife's behaviour, denying murder and claiming a special defence of a temporary loss of control.

He denied planning the murder then trying to cover his tracks, telling the jury: 'One of Marie's favourite TV programmes was CSI and one of the things they always said is you can't get rid of blood.' 

Shocking footage showed the former civil servant sitting in the back of an ambulance explaining to police that he had found his wife 'just lying there' after going out to the stables to check on her.

Asked about what happened, he tells police: 'Couple of hours ago, wife comes down the stables on her own. She said she'd forgotten something.

Pomphret (pictured), 51, was today sentenced to life for the murder of his wife Ann Marie, 49, who he bludgeoned to death with a crowbar last November 2

Pomphret (pictured), 51, was today sentenced to life for the murder of his wife Ann Marie, 49, who he bludgeoned to death with a crowbar last November 2

'I don't know whether it was something to do with the horses or why she came down. I did some bits and pieces of DIY around the house.

'I thought she was taking her time. Tried to text her, got nothing back. Tried to text her again, a little bit longer, nothing back.

'Thought she'd got a problem with the horses. We've had it in the past where people have crashed through the fence or the horses have got out.

'So I brought some torches down, and she's just lying there. Oh God, she's just lying there.'

He also pretends to have given her mouth-to-mouth but says he 'almost threw up' doing it.

He refuses to give her chest compressions, telling the operator: 'No no, she is stone cold.' 

When encouraged further, he replied: 'Are you joking?'

He burned his bloodstained clothes, disposed of the murder weapon, protested his innocence and was released on bail - but did not destroy his socks, which would 'come back to haunt him'. 

Mrs Pomphret, 49, (pictured) had a number of issues, including being on the autism spectrum, having Asperger syndrome, and had recently had treatment for cancer

Mrs Pomphret, 49, (pictured) had a number of issues, including being on the autism spectrum, having Asperger syndrome, and had recently had treatment for cancer

A harrowing CCTV image shows the couple wandering through the aisles of an Asda supermarket just hours before Pomphret battered his wife to death with a crowbar

A harrowing CCTV image shows the couple wandering through the aisles of an Asda supermarket just hours before Pomphret battered his wife to death with a crowbar

CCTV image shows the couple wandering through the aisles of the supermarket just hours before the murder. 

The trial heard the couple met on Ann Marie's 21st birthday and were 'happily married' with one daughter, Megan.

But, over the course of their nearly 30-year relationship, his wife's physical and mental health deteriorated, the jury was told.

Mrs Pomphret had a number of issues, including being on the autism spectrum, having Asperger syndrome, and had recently had treatment for cancer.

The defendant said he and their daughter developed 'coping mechanisms', removing themselves, or his wife, from a situation and deciding to 'let her rant'.  

Pomphret bludgeoned his wife to death with a crowbar (pictured) in a 'frenzied' attack and is now facing a life sentence for murder after being 'undone' by a speck of blood on his sock

Pomphret bludgeoned his wife to death with a crowbar (pictured) in a 'frenzied' attack and is now facing a life sentence for murder after being 'undone' by a speck of blood on his sock

Pomphret appears to break down as he tells police he found his wife's body dead in the house

Pomphret appears to break down as he tells police he found his wife's body dead in the house

Pictured: The family's stables in Winwick, Warrington, where Pomphret murdered his wife

Pictured: The family's stables in Winwick, Warrington, where Pomphret murdered his wife  

Last November 2 had been a normal day, the court heard - Pomphret went to work, then the couple went shopping at Asda before visiting their stables near their home to check on their horses. 

Pomphret (pictured) gave no reaction as the chairman of the jury delivered the unanimous guilty verdict following 10 hours, 42 minutes of deliberations

Pomphret (pictured) gave no reaction as the chairman of the jury delivered the unanimous guilty verdict following 10 hours, 42 minutes of deliberations

The defendant said he needed to pick up tools to fix the shower at home, but she shouted he was 'f****** crazy' and 'just going to create more s***', before criticising their daughter.

He told the court: 'She ranted at me for being a bad parent, calling me f****** useless. 

'Called me limp and useless. I was not performing very well.

'Marie was at this point raging, absolutely raging, finger pointing, screaming. 

'She then slapped me across the face.

'Er, I remember reaching out, grabbing her hood and ... I don't remember. I was standing at the side of her body.

'There was blood on my hands and the crowbar. She was on the floor.'

Defensive injuries to his victim's hands and arms were found as his wife covered her head to try to avoid the blows 

The couple, who shared their Winwick home (pictured) with their 18-year-old daughter, had gone to pick up tools to fix the shower but the 'volatile' wife began 'ranting' at him, he claimed

The couple, who shared their Winwick home (pictured) with their 18-year-old daughter, had gone to pick up tools to fix the shower but the 'volatile' wife began 'ranting' at him, he claimed 

Barclays executive, 51, who battered his wife to death is jailed for 20 years

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