A Mansfield man who murdered his partner by strangling her in a fit of temper has been sentenced to 16 years.
Michael Foster 39, of St John’s Place had admitted the manslaughter of 44 year old Paula Harris but was found guilty of her murder by a jury.
Today (Monday September 10) he was sentenced by judge Burgess.
The judge told Foster “in the course of or after an argument you strangled her Harris with your bare hands.
The jury were clearly satisfied that there was enough to prove you had committed the full offence.
“As a result of what you have done her family have lost a woman they loved.
“I have heard and read the personal statements written by two of her sisters
“Her son has lost his mother.
“The effects of her death on them is all too plain.
“ Having killed her the only assistance you sought was for yourself.
“You never called the emergency services.
“Instead you went to friends to buy drugs.”
He had asked friends for money and accommodation, so he could escape the consequences of what he had done.
When he was arrested and interviewed he had made no mention he had put his hands around her throat and had tried to make out it was she who had attacked him and in the course of restraining her had accidentally caused her death.
He only admitted it when presented with the medical evidence.
In mitigation Foster had said there had been no intent to kill, but there was compelling evidence.
It would have been necessary to maintain a grip on her throat after she had become unconscious to kill her as it must have been obvious she was limp and unresponsive.
He added: “ The truth is you lost your temper. I am satisfied in the minutes of your rage you intended to kill her.”
Foster was sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve a minimum of 16 years before he can be considered for parole, minus 222 days he has spent in custody.
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