'I'm not prepared to see her live' - Derbyshire killer Rhys Hancock tells police after stabbing his estranged wife 66 times

A Derbyshire man who murdered his wife and her new lover in a frenzied killing spree on New Year’s Day called the police from the scene of the crime, a court heard.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 5:38 pm
Rhys Hancock, who has been jailed for at least 31 years for killing his estranged wife and her new lover

Rhys Hancock appeared before Derby Crown Court in Thursday, October 1, after he stabbed his estranged wife Helen Hancock,39, a total of 66 times, and her new lover, 48-year-old Martin Griffiths, a total of 37 times in the early hours of January 1.

The court heard that a short while earlier, Hancock, 40, had left his mother’s home in Etwell, Derbyshire, after finding out about the new relationship from his children - armed with two kitchen knives.

Describing the call, Michael Auty QC for the prosecution told the court: “The defendant called them [the police] himself and he said ‘I have just murdered my wife in her bed, I have stabbed them”, adding: “The children are safe and at my mother’s’.”

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Martin Griffiths and Helen Hancock, who were stabbed to death on New Year's Day.

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Derbyshire man jailed for at least 31 years after murdering his estranged wife a...

When the first police officer arrived he could see that Hancock’s shirt was covered in blood and he aimed his taser at Hancock and ordered him to lie on the ground, which he did, said Mr Auty.

“The defendant then said, ‘I’m hardly not going to admit it, am I? Look at me. I’m going to plead guilty - I’m not prepared to see her live. I’m not going to have my children telling me on Boxing Day that she was seeing this man’,” he said.

The court heard that the Hancocks had had a difficult marriage and had almost separated on four previous occasions, the last time in 2016 when they had got as far as court before deciding to reconcile.

Hancock told police that his estranged wife had been abusive towards him, assaulting him on one occasion while he was speaking to his therapist, the court heard.

“He told officers ‘I get told off for literally everything and she gets away with murder - that’s ironic, isn’t it.”

The court heard the bodies of Mrs Hancock and Mr Griffiths were found on the floor in an upstairs bedroom, her head lying on his chest.

Mr Auty said that, when discovered, Mr Griffiths was clearly already dead, but officers made frantic efforts to keep Mrs Hancock alive, using a defibrillator on her as well as manual CPR before paramedics arrived. But it was no good and they were pronounced dead at 4.48am and 4.55am respectively.

The court heard that the home, in New Zealand Lane, Duffield, was visited by Home Office pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton while the bodies were still inside.

He concluded that both had initially been attacked while lying in bed and had then moved around the room in a desperate bid to escape. Both had defence injuries to their arms.

Hancock admitted both murders at an earlier hearing in July.

Judge Nirmal Shant QC sentenced Hancock to a minimum of 31 years in prison.

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