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Life term for man who cut up wife

A "cynical and cruel" killer who murdered his 21-year-old wife then dismembered her with an electric saw and hid her remains has been told that he will stay in prison for at least 22 years.

Unemployed Nicky Ward, 29, was jailed after a jury at Norwich Crown Court convicted him of murdering pub waitress Emma Ward at the home they shared in Rockland St Peter, Norfolk, in spring last year.

Judge Peter Jacobs imposed a mandatory life term and said Ward could not be considered for parole until he had spent 22 years in jail. Detectives said no trace of Mrs Ward had been found and her family urged Ward to reveal where he had hidden her remains.

Ward denied murder, telling jurors he killed his wife accidentally in self-defence during a row and had no memory of dismembering her or disposing of her remains.

Jurors were told that relatives raised the alarm after Mrs Ward - whose parents David and Elaine Noonan live in Rockland All Saints, Norfolk - vanished in late March 2010.

Ward told police his wife had left him for another man but forensic investigations revealed she had been killed in a bedroom, then dragged to the bathroom and cut up with a £55 saw bought in a local hardware store.

Inquiries showed Ward had cleaned carpets and repainted - but he had not realised his wife's blood had seeped through to floorboards and left a trail for scientists to follow.

The judge said the amount of blood found suggested Ward had attacked his wife with a "sharp instrument". "What happened after that was truly dreadful," he said. "You embarked upon a cynical and cruel effort to cover your tracks."

The judge said no-one could be sure when Mrs Ward died but evidence pointed to late March or early April.

Ward, whose family live in Basildon, Essex, showed little sign of emotion as the verdict was returned and the sentence passed.

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