A “controlling” boyfriend who murdered his partner before dumping her body in an Essex park has been jailed for life.
Garry Bennett, 37, must serve a minimum of 21 years for strangling 30-year-old Madison Wright after she told him she was preparing to leave him.
Wright’s body was found in Wat Tyler Country Park in Pitsea, Essex, on 30 July last year, eight days after she was last seen.
Bennett was found guilty of her murder on Tuesday, and screamed “how f***ing dare you” in court after the guilty verdict was read out.
Sentencing Bennett to life on Wednesday, judge Samantha Leigh said the case was “haunting” and described Bennett’s actions as “unspeakable”.
She told him: “There are cases that come before the court that are the most serious kind. But every so often there are facts that shock and haunt the most experienced court, and this is one of them.
“What you did was unspeakable, you snuffed out the life of a woman you claimed was your world, all for her to have the courage to say she was leaving you.”
Wright worked as a cleaner and attended an appointment cleaning a client’s house, where she was booked from 9am to 11am on 22 July last year.
A doorbell camera filmed her leaving the appointment and an automatic number plate recognition camera recorded her car travelling towards Bennett’s address, Basildon Crown Court heard.
In text messages read to the court by the prosecutor, Wright had told Bennett on the morning of 22 July “you’re too controlling”.
She also wrote: “I’ve not been happy for ages – we’ve had lots of chances to try to make it work but I just don’t think it is.”
Prosecutor Tracy Ayling KC previously told the court that Bennett had accessed Wright’s phone and sent a text to her husband – who she was still in contact with – posing as Wright and telling him that “some stuff has come up at my place that I need to sort out, sorry” on the day that she vanished.
Judge Leigh told Bennett: “When there was that text exchange in the morning and when she was at work and the reality dawned on you... when you drove to her address that morning you realised that she wasn’t going to do what you wanted and was going to leave you.
“You couldn’t contain your rage and you killed her. You used her fingerprint to access her phone and bank account.”
Essex Police said Bennett’s DNA was discovered on a fence post found on top of Wright’s body.
Forensic tests of his phone showed he searched for information and news stories relating to Wat Tyler Country Park and the murder investigation.
Detectives spotted that the texts apparently sent by Wright were so different from her usual style that they suspected they had been sent by Bennett.