London: An Indian-origin gay pharmacist in the UK has been found guilty of murdering his wife by strangling her in order to start a new life with his boyfriend in Australia.
Mitesh Patel, 37, injected his wife Jessica with insulin and strangled her with a supermarket bag at their Middlesbrough home in May, then staged a break-in to make it look like an intruder had attacked her and bound her with tape, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Detectives used Patel’s iPhone health app to help convict him, in what is thought to be a legal first in the UK, the Telegraph reported.
Patel denied killing Jessica, 34, and staging a burglary at the couple’s home. His murder trial at Teesside Crown Court opened in November and on Tuesday a jury found him guilty of the murder. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Patel was secretly in a relationship with his “soulmate” Dr Amit Patel, who had emigrated to Sydney and with whom he hoped to bring up his and Jessica’s IVF baby after her death, reports say.
The pharmacist met his boyfriend on gay dating app Grindr.
The Crown Court heard that Patel had planned to claim a 2-million pound life insurance payout and move to Australia with his boyfriend.
The jury also heard Patel had made Internet searches including “I need to kill my wife”, “insulin overdose”, “plot to kill my wife, do I need a co-conspirator?”, “hiring hitman UK” and “how much methadone will kill you?”.
According to officials, critical data from the iPhone health app which monitors movements showed Patel’s movements inside the house during the crime, going upstairs to ransack the rooms to stage a burglary after he had strangled his wife.
Meanwhile, the app on his wife’s phone showed no movement for a long time.
The jury unanimously found Patel guilty. The judge told him: “You have been convicted by the jury and you will be sentenced to life imprisonment and that will happen tomorrow morning.”