Man facing life in prison after murdering his partner
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A man who fatally attacked his partner after she tried to leave has been convicted of her murder.
Matthew Waddell, 35, was found guilty of murder following the death of 38-year-old Sarah Albone at her home in Biggleswade in February.
In November 2022, friends and family became increasingly concerned for Sarah, her relationship with Waddell and her lack of communication with them. Prior to this date, there had been concerns over the toxic nature of their relationship and Waddell’s control over Sarah.
Sarah had not seen family and friends or answered any of their calls and as concerns grew, her family submitted a missing person report to Bedfordshire Police on 21 February.
Waddell told family that Sarah was at a hospital being treated for her mental health, and that her phone was broken so she could not answer calls.
A friend began receiving messages from someone purporting to be Sarah, claiming to be in hospital and asking for cash, however they suspected this was not Sarah due to the grammar and language used in the messages.
As part of the missing person investigation, Waddell spoke to officers where he continued to claim that Sarah was in hospital, however records did not match up when they were scrutinised.
Shortly after their visit, officers received a text message from someone purporting to be Sarah claiming to be safe and well, but mobile phone data showed the message came from the vicinity of Sarah’s home.
The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit launched a murder investigation and Waddell was arrested on suspicion of murder on 25 February.
Officers searched the property and a large amount of blood was found around the house. Parts of the carpet had been removed where Waddell had attempted to cover his tracks.
Cadaver dogs assisted with the search and located a blood-stained duvet hidden in a suitcase. Despite the lengths Waddell had gone to to conceal Sarah’s body, she was discovered in the property shortly after.
A post mortem gave the cause of death as airway obstruction caused by catastrophic injuries to her head, and it was believed she died in November 2022. She was found with a number of other injuries.
Today (Monday), Waddell, of Winston Crescent, Biggleswade, was found guilty of murder at Luton Crown Court.
He is due to be sentenced on Thursday (14 September) at Luton Crown Court.
Detective Chief Inspector Iain Moor, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridge and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: “This was a horrifically violent and despicable crime which has cost a woman her life.
“Sarah was a vulnerable woman who made several attempts to leave Waddell, but he continued to manipulate her in a bid to remain a part of her life. When he felt like he was fully losing control in the relationship, he launched his fatal attack.
“His actions did not end after the attack. He went to great lengths to try and cover up what he had done, and he continued his coercive behaviour as he lied to Sarah’s family and friends.
“My thoughts remain with Sarah’s family and her close friends at this time.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Zara Brown, who is the force’s new Male Violence Against Women and Girl's lead, added: “This is a harrowing case which has sadly seen a young woman and mother’s life lost.
“This kind of controlling and violent behaviour is dangerous and unacceptable, and demonstrates how this types of behaviour can escalate rapidly.
“We know that people are living with abuse and in fear and we know it is not always easy to walk away. As a force we will continue to advocate for the safety of women and girls, by providing a safe space for women to report and access support.”
If you have concerns about someone you can report this to police on 101 or online.