Mitesh Patel has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering his wife Jessica Patel in order to start a new life with his gay lover.
The jury at Teesside Crown Court returned a unanimous verdict on Tuesday (November 4) after three hours of deliberations, before a judge sentenced Patel on Wednesday to serve at least 30 years behind bars.
“If she’s a thorn in our life, we should be in hers”
— Mitesh Patel’s text to Dr Amit Patel
Mitesh Patel, a 37-year-old pharmacist, killed his wife with a Tesco Bag For Life, which he used both as a ligature and to suffocate her, at their home in Middlesbrough, England, on May 14.
Mitesh Patel’s motive
Patel planned to cover up his wife’s murder, claim £2 million from her life insurance policy, then move to Australia.
There, he planned to start a new life with one of his gay lovers, Sydney resident Dr Amit Patel, whom the prosecution described as his “soulmate.”
The court heard how the murderer’s lover was in on the plot, Teesside Live has reported, with Mitesh Patel texting Amit Patel to say: “If she’s a thorn in our life, we should be in hers.
“If she can cause us upset, it’s only fair the same to her. See you think I’m mad too. I’m telling you, her days are marked. Do you understand where I’m coming from?”
His lover responded by telling him: “Yes I do honey.”
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It is not clear whether Amit Patel, who was a witness in the investigation, will face legal proceedings.
The pharmacist told police that he started using dating websites and apps in the summer of 2017, and phone records showed that he used Grindr on the day he murdered his wife.
Mitesh Patel had “long planned” to kill his wife
The prosecutor said during the trial that Mitesh Patel had planned the murder “for some time,” and searched online for the terms “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?” as well as “men have sex with prison” and “Hindu funeral.”
After his wife’s death, Patel told police that she had been killed by an intruder who burgled their home and tied her up with duct tape while he was out.
Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell, QC told the court that Patel had attempted to stage the murder scene and create a false alibi, adding that the intruder story was a “lie.”
Patel’s DNA was found under the fingernails of his wife, suggesting she fought back, the court was told.
The pharmacist said he did not attempt CPR on his wife because “he didn’t know how to.”
Upon his arrest, Patel was found with £2,000 in a plastic bag—in addition to £25,000 in a safe in the pharmacy he and his wife ran together.
The safe in the shop’s storeroom also contained a “large amount” of gold and silver jewellery, along with coins, gold watches, gold bars and precious stones.