Man to be sentenced for murdering Sheffield woman 'loved by everyone who met her'
A man is to be sentenced today for killing a much loved mum from Sheffield.
David Bestwick, aged 60, strangled 44-year-old Maria Howarth in her home in School Lane, Greenhill last September.
He was initially charged with attempted murder but when Maria, who had a 10-year-old daughter, died in hospital two days later the charge was changed to murder.
Beswick denied the offence but was found guilty after a trial.
Jurors heard how Beswick dialled 999 at 4am on Sunday, September 6 and said ‘I’ve just strangled my girlfriend’.
When asked why, he answered, ‘I loved her. She didn’t want me’.
Jurors were told Bestwick had wanted a relationship but Ms Howarth did not feel the same.
A glowing tribute was paid to Maria by her colleagues at Castle Square Corporate Finance following her death.
They described her loss as ‘devastating’ and set up an online fundraising page to help support her young daughter.
In a statement, they said: “Maria was a beautiful, caring and larger than life individual known and loved by everyone who met her.
“Maria has been an integral member of the Castle Square team since 2016. Her dedication to the firm and enthusiasm, energy and commitment made her an important factor in the firm’s continued success.
“On a personal level, we all remember Maria’s joy for life, her kindness and generosity, her support for the Blades, her willingness to go that extra step for anyone and most importantly her love and devotion to her 10-year-old daughter.
“The office will be a much quieter place without you, Maria.
“So many of you who knew Maria through her role at Castle Square have already contacted us to ask about making donations and also if we were planning anything to remember Maria by.
“Having discussed the matter with Maria’s family, we have established a Just Giving page so that anyone who wishes can make a donation to a fund for her daughter, which will be given to her when she is older, or used if she needs anything before then.”
Visit the Just Giving page to make a donation.