A SOUTH Yorkshire music teacher has been has been found guilty of murdering his fiancee after he strangled, battered and stabbed her before hiding her body in a suitcase in their garage.
Andrew Lindo, aged 29, who taught classes at the Take 2 Theatre School in Birdwell, admitted manslaughter but denied the murder of 30-year-old Marie Stewart at their home in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, on December 18 last year.
A jury at Bradford Crown Court rejected his claim that he lost self control following a row in which he had accused her of mistreating their young daughter.
Miss Stewart’s mother, Helen, was in tears after the jury of four women and eight men returned their verdict after less than an hour of deliberation.
Other members of the family, including her sister, Katie, were also crying in the packed public gallery.
Lindo, flanked by two security officers, showed little emotion and continued to look at the floor as the guilty verdict was delivered.
He is to be sentenced today.
The court heard Lindo admitted killing his partner, who was the mother of his two children, but denied murder.
He did not give evidence from the witness box but told police during interviews how he first strangled Miss Stewart and then, when she was still making noises, hit her with a child’s chair and tried to choke her with a belt.
Lindo finally killed her by stabbing her 12 times with a kitchen knife.
The court heard he put her body in a case in the basement garage of their town house on Perseverance Place, Holmfirth.
The couple’s young son and daughter were in the house at the time.
For seven weeks Lindo convinced Miss Stewart’s family and friends that she was still alive, setting up an elaborate smoke screen using Facebook and her mobile phone texting service, telling everyone she had left him and moved abroad.
But, when friends and family became suspicious, the police were called.
They searched the house and found the body on February 13.
The court heard Lindo had been living a double life, having affairs with a number of women.
He took one of his mistresses back to his home within hours of murdering Miss Stewart.
He used to tell women he as trying to pick up that he was a struggling single father who had been deserted by the mother of his children.
And he would even transform his family home into a ‘bachelor pad’, with no sign of his fiancee’s existence, when they visited.
Lindo was a musician in local bands, including one called Battered Soul, and in September 2008 he began working as a freelance tutor at a private music school in Birdwell, where he was one of a number of vocal tutors.
His fiancee was said to have been ‘very much in love’ with him and friends thought they had the ‘perfect’ life.
n Check out thestar.co.uk tomorrow to find out Lindo’s sentence.