Banker jailed for strangling wife


Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.




Banker jailed for strangling wife

Neil Ellerbeck

Neil Ellerbeck was described as "obsessively jealous"

A City banker found guilty of killing his unfaithful wife during a row at their north London home has been jailed for eight years at the Old Bailey.

Neil Ellerbeck, 46, had denied strangling his wife Katherine in 2008.

The HSBC banker, described as an "obsessively jealous husband" by Judge Roger Chapple, bugged her phone conversations with her lovers.

He killed his wife during a violent row last November. He was found guilty of manslaughter but cleared of murder.

We are relieved that this is now all over and we can try to begin to rebuild our lives and look to the future

Susan Reed, victim's sister

Jealousy and death in the suburbs

Passing sentence, Judge Roger Chapple said: "It is plain there was a darker side to your character - the secretive, obsessively jealous husband who spied on his wife.

"Your frustration erupted that morning when it became clear that your wife was serious about divorce and it was then that you applied sustained and deliberate pressure to her neck.

"This was domestic violence. Your wife was subjected to violence in her own home, the very place she should feel safest of all."

Mrs Ellerbeck's sister Susan Reed said: "We are relieved that this is now all over and we can try to begin to rebuild our lives and look to the future.

She added the family would now "pick up the pieces of their lives as much as it is possible without our lovely Kate."

'Wife sensed menace'

Mrs Ellerbeck died after a 55-minute struggle with her husband that left her with 45 external injuries.

The children, aged 14 and 11, who are living with Ms Reed, "must now live with the traumatic knowledge that she was killed by their father", the judge added.

During the trial, the court heard the couple, who met on a train in 1991, had been married for 14 years and had two children.

Ellerbeck, chief investment banker at HSBC in Canary Wharf with a fortune of more than £1m, began to spy on his wife, who was having an affair with their son's tennis coach and two other men.

The house in Canford Close, Enfield, north London

Katherine Ellerbeck's body was found at the house in Enfield

He told the court he was "not proud" of taping her conversations with her lovers, but he "didn't dare" confront his wife.

Ellerbeck was having an affair himself and had "squirreled" away more than £500,000 in fear that his marriage would end in divorce, the jury heard.

Ms Reed said her sister told her about sensing a "menace" in their Enfield home.

The early years of the marriage were "ideal" but the relationship became strained after the victim's mother died in 2001 followed by her father's death last year.

The banker earned £136,600-a-year plus monthly bonuses of up to £3,000 but his wife had no idea about his income.

The court heard Ellerbeck feared losing half of his fortune and the custody of his children.

Hours before Mrs Ellerbeck died on 14 November 2008, her husband admitted pinning her to the ground in a "judo" style move during a violent row.

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.