Fa­ther-in-lust

Ex-body­builder Stephen fan­cied him­self as a ladies’ man and none were of­flim­its – not even his son’s part­ner…

Real People - - OUR MAD WORLD! - By Gil­lian Craw­ley (sto­ries@re­alpeo­plemag.co.uk)

He killed to bed son’s lover

Over the crash of skit­tles, bowl­ing al­ley man­ager Stephen Searle ad­mired his new em­ployee. She was 26, had girl-next-door good looks and an ex­otic Rus­sian back­ground… and grey­ing Stephen, 51, was smit­ten.

Anas­ta­sia Po­mi­a­teeva first started work­ing at So­lar Bowl in Ip­swich in 2005.

She showed no in­ter­est in her boss. In­stead, she fell for his son, Gary, 34, when he joined the staff four years later.

Their dates soon turned to some­thing more se­ri­ous, and Anas­ta­sia – whose dad was Rus­sian but had been born in Bri­tain – moved in with Gary.

Anas­ta­sia was treated as a daugh­ter by Stephen’s wife, Anne, who loved her for mak­ing her son so happy and ab­so­lutely doted on her grand­chil­dren.

But Stephen, an ex-royal Marine and a UKIP coun­cil­lor on Suf­folk County Coun­cil, still se­cretly fan­cied Anas­ta­sia.

By last March, when he in­vited Anas­ta­sia for a cof­fee in the coun­cil build­ing, he was 63.

There, he told her that he hadn’t had sex with his wife for six years.

Anne, 61, was the mother of his three sons and they’d been mar­ried for 45 years.

Anas­ta­sia didn’t know where to look. Anne was, ef­fec­tively, her mother-in-law.

Then, in a shock­ing act of be­trayal to his lov­ing wife and son, Stephen asked Anas­ta­sia if she would ‘make him happy’.

She turned on her heel and left, but Stephen didn’t give up.

He sent her pics of his mus­cly physique in his body­build­ing days in the ’80s, in­clud­ing one shot of him oiled, tanned and sport­ing a pos­ing pouch.

Af­ter a month, Anas­ta­sia re­lented. It seemed like a quick re­ver­sal, see­ing as she’d so firmly re­jected him, but she was feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble.

Her gran was ill in hos­pi­tal, and Stephen had al­ways been so force­ful that she felt in­tim­i­dated.

Truth be told, she even started to feel a bit sorry for him.

Anas­ta­sia and Stephen be­gan meet­ing for sex – even at his £400,000 home in Stow­mar­ket, Suf­folk, when Anne was out.

He nick­named her SBG, short for ‘Steve’s Beau­ti­ful Girl’.

The lovers ex­changed ex­plicit pic­tures and texts.

Stephen posed in cam­ou­flage gear, tot­ing guns while wear­ing his Marine’s green beret.

Anas­ta­sia tried to break it off but, when­ever she did so, Stephen said he needed her.

She felt so grubby at the be­trayal of Gary and Anne that she al­ways had a shower af­ter their hook-ups.

But Anne was no fool and twigged that Stephen was up to some­thing.

Two months af­ter the af­fair started, she fi­nally guessed Stephen’s phone PIN – 4545 – af­ter 45 Com­mando, the Royal Marines unit in which he’d served for nine years.

She dis­cov­ered Stephen’s be­trayal, and Anas­ta­sia’s, when she read mes­sages be­tween them ar­rang­ing to meet at ho­tels. When she con­fronted her hus­band, Stephen con­fessed im­me­di­ately. He’d been a ‘stupid sod’ and had made

a ‘mas­sive mis­take’, he said.

Anne was fu­ri­ous, but also de­pressed. She told her friends at the sushi fac­tory where she worked that she felt too old to leave him and start again.

Gary agreed to for­give Anas­ta­sia, but the messy af­fair ripped the Searle fam­ily apart.

Stephen had to stand be­tween Anas­ta­sia and his wife as they hurled abuse at each other on the doorstep.

Gary, who has two brothers – Stephen Jr, 29, and Christo­pher, 41 – broke off all con­tact with his dad.

He was heart­bro­ken. He couldn’t be­lieve his fa­ther could do such a thing.

But, de­spite the tur­moil he’d caused and his apolo­gies to his wife, Stephen con­tin­ued to try to con­tact Anas­ta­sia, even fol­low­ing her to su­per­mar­kets and baby groups.

He’d also com­piled a sick pho­to­graph col­lec­tion on his com­puter, where he su­per­im­posed Anas­ta­sia’s head on to the bod­ies of porn stars.

Mean­while, Anne was find­ing it hard to for­give and for­get.

She told her daugh­ter-in-law, Vic­to­ria, Stephen Jr’s wife, that she felt very un­happy and ar­gued with her hus­band ev­ery night.

She told her col­leagues that Stephen had grabbed her arms tightly enough to leave bruises dur­ing one fight.

When she came back to work be­fore the New Year, she told them that Christ­mas Day had been ru­ined.

She’d bought Stephen an ex­pen­sive present, but he’d got her a £14 woolly hat and scarf set from Asda.

In the en­su­ing row, he chucked their din­ner of roast chicken with all the trim­mings in the bin, Anne said.

But Stephen con­tin­ued to in­sist that ev­ery­thing had ‘gone back to nor­mal’ af­ter he’d ended the af­fair.

The Christ­mas Day row was ex­ag­ger­ated – he’d only thrown the giblets away, not the whole meal, he said.

On the night of 30 De­cem­ber, both Anne and Stephen were drink­ing heav­ily.

He went to fetch him­self an­other beer from the fridge and, when he came back, an­other ar­gu­ment started…

It was 10.20pm when the 999 dis­patcher re­ceived the call.

With as­ton­ish­ing calm­ness, Stephen an­nounced, ‘I’ve just killed my wife… I’ve been a very naughty boy.’

When asked how he killed Anne, he replied, ‘Erm… suf­fo­ca­tion, re­ally, I guess.

Bit of a bizarre sit­u­a­tion but, you know… never mind.’

Were there just two of them in the house? ‘Well, just the one of us now!’

He was still on the phone when the po­lice ar­rived.

‘Ah, hello, bud­dies. How are you? All right?’ he beamed.

‘She cut me with a knife,’ he told them. ‘She tried to get me in the stom­ach first, but I only have a cou­ple of nicks.’

It’s a story he stuck to while on trial at Ip­swich Crown Court in July. He in­sisted that his wife had threat­ened him with a steak knife.

He said he ‘never meant to hurt her’, adding, ‘I looked down and saw a blade go­ing back­wards and for­wards. I just grabbed it.

‘It was a spur-of-the-mo­ment de­ci­sion. I thought, “I’ve got to stop this.”’

He grabbed Anne’s right arm with his left hand and then put his right hand around her neck – the prose­cu­tion said it was a choke hold he’d learned in the Marines. He held her tight un­til she went limp.

He told the jury his in­ten­tion was just to sub­due her.

‘It was just a blur. Even­tu­ally, she stopped strug­gling, and I went, “Thank f*** for that”,’ he con­tin­ued.

He said that he left Anne on the floor and went to have a cig­a­rette, not re­al­is­ing that she was dead.

But foren­sic pathol­o­gist Dr Ben­jamin Swift said Anne would have lost con­scious­ness af­ter eight to 15 sec­onds of pres­sure be­ing ap­plied to her neck.

How­ever, her death re­quired fur­ther sus­tained pres­sure for a pe­riod of min­utes.

Stephen said he waited about an hour be­fore di­alling 999 be­cause he was in shock.

‘You were try­ing to give your­self more time to con­coct a story?’ pros­e­cu­tor An­drew Jack­son asked.

‘No, sir.’

Nor did he at­tempt CPR, say­ing, ‘I didn’t think I could get her back.’

At the end of the six-day trial, Stephen was found guilty of mur­der. He held his head in his hands.

He later re­quested his lawyer to ask the judge if he could at­tend the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing via video link from prison, com­plain­ing of the ‘un­pleas­ant’ jour­ney in the prison van.

But the judge in­sisted he be in court to hear his fate: life, with a min­i­mum of 14 years in prison.

Mr Jus­tice Green told him that, be­cause of his re­cent di­ag­no­sis with prostate can­cer, there was a like­li­hood that Stephen would die in prison.

‘You caused dev­as­tat­ing waves of pain to crash through your fam­ily,’ he said.

‘You have de­prived your chil­dren of the mother that they loved. You have de­prived your grand­chil­dren of their grand­mother, and you have de­prived Anne of the re­main­ing years of her life.’

In an im­pact state­ment, the cou­ple’s youngest son, Stephen Jr, said his mother’s mur­der had caused him ‘ab­so­lute mis­ery’.

‘I feel emo­tion­ally drained, most days. It has taken its toll on me, my fam­ily and friends.

‘I will never be able to hug my Mum or hear her sweet Scot­tish voice ever again.

‘If my dad had just ad­mit­ted what he’d done and been hon­est, it wouldn’t have had to go to court.’

Anas­ta­sia said she felt ashamed and guilty, adding, ‘I was a prat to give in [to Stephen’s ad­vances], but he took ad­van­tage of my vul­ner­a­bil­ity and I felt sorry for him.’

Gary said af­ter the trial that, de­spite the pain of los­ing his mum, the trauma had brought him and his cheat­ing part­ner closer to­gether.

But, though he for­gave her, he vowed never to for­give his fa­ther.

‘Me and Anas­ta­sia just love each other so much that, if any­thing, this has brought us closer to­gether,’ he said.

‘We will be to­gether for the rest of our lives, un­til we are old and grey.

‘We have all done things in our lives that we are not proud of.’

He held her tight till she went limp

Ex-marine Stephen The UKIP sup­porter knew Nigel Farage Stephen in his glory days

The fam­ily at Stephen Jnr and Vicky’s wed­ding Wife Anne sus­pected her hus­band was stray­ing

Stephen Jnr with wife Vicky

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