‘Jealous’ man who strangled estranged wife to be sentenced for murder

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A jealous man who strangled his estranged wife after she refused to sleep with him “one last time” for £100 will be sentenced for murder.

Martin Cavanagh, 35, killed 31-year-old Sophie Cavanagh at his Bromley flat in May then left a message on a board saying “she deserved it”.

The body of the mother-of-two was found naked in bed and Cavanagh turned himself in to police days later.

Cavanagh was found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey in a murder trial that heard he was “controlling, jealous and possessive”, with a short fuse.

The couple married in 2011 and split up before the killing.

They continued to go on family outings together but Cavanagh was controlling, prosecutors said.

When he found out she was using the dating website Match.com, he accessed her account to sabotage her profile, the court heard.

He also sent her a message on WhatsApp offering £100 if she would sleep with him “one last time”, the jury heard.

Mrs Cavanagh was strangled at night after she spent the day visiting Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent with Cavanagh.

The court heard Cavanagh stripped his wife and put her into bed to make it look as though she died in her sleep.

On a whiteboard, he scrawled the words: “She deserved it.”

In his defence, Cavanagh claimed he acted only to protect himself from his wife, who had “attacked” him after they took cocaine.

He said she was hitting him so he grabbed her by the neck, and “had her for 10, 15 or maybe 20 seconds”.

But the jury rejected his defence.

Cavanagh is in custody and will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday.

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