Rhys Hancock jailed for murdering wife and new partner

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Rhys Hancock jailed for murdering wife and new partner
Rhys Hancock jailed for murdering wife and new partner

Headteacher Rhys Hancock has been jailed for life for murdering his estranged wife and her new lover.

The “sadistic” husband killed his estranged wife and her lover in a New Year’s Day “bloodbath”.

Former head teacher Rhys Hancock killed Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths at the former marital home in Duffield, Derbyshire, before calling police to say “I’ve just murdered my wife in her bed.”

Derby Crown Court heard the 40-year-old defendant was found outside the property in a blood-stained shirt just after the murders, telling a police officer: “I’m hardly going to deny it; look at me.”

Hancock, a father of three, inflicted 66 injuries on his 39-year-old wife using two kitchen knives he had taken from his mother’s house in Etwall.

Mr Griffiths suffered 37 injuries in the “brutal” attack – with a senior ambulance staff member describing it as “the most violent incident he had ever seen in over 17 years’ experience”.

The court heard how before travelling 10 miles to the former marital home, Hancock told his mother Denise Hancock of his plans – saying he “would get 25 or 30 years in prison and that he would be released when he was in his 60s”.

Summarising Hancock’s actions, prosecutor Michael Auty QC told the sentencing hearing: “There is no escaping these murders were premeditated, they were savage, the attack was merciless, there were elements of sadism and the intention was always … and only to kill.

“Perhaps, above all else, they were committed in the coldest of blood.”

Mr Auty told the court the defendant had left his mother’s house with the knives, before returning moments later to “share a cup of tea with his mother one last time, as if it was his way of bidding her farewell”.

Mrs Hancock, a PE teacher, and father-of-two Mr Griffiths were pronounced dead at the detached property in New Zealand Lane shortly before 5am on January 1.

The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of murder at a previous hearing.

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