Lorry driver jailed for wife murder
A lorry driver has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 14 years for brutally murdering his wife at their marital home.
Iain Montgomery showed no emotion as he was jailed today at Stafford Crown Court after admitting killing Tina Montgomery in Tamworth, Staffordshire, in January this year.
Jailing the 39-year-old, The Recorder of Stafford Judge Michael Chambers QC said former squaddie Montgomery had carried out a "brutal, prolonged attack", which had been triggered by "an extreme and violent explosion of temper".
Montgomery, described as "quiet" by colleagues and friends, pleaded guilty to the murder at an earlier hearing but has never explained his motives.
The judge said: "This was a brutal, prolonged attack on a woman using a variety of weapons, intending to kill."
He added: "The tragedy of this case is that, not just to the outside world, but also those who knew you and your wife - it was an essentially happy marriage of some 14 years.
"However some time between 4.30pm and 6pm on the evening of January 8, you killed her.
"There is no suggestion it was pre-meditated, but there clearly was by you an outburst of extreme, violent temper, the reason for which may never be known."
Evidence of Montgomery's guilt was provided by a forward-facing camera fitted inside the cab of his Aldi lorry, showing him tossing away a blood-stained rolling pin he had used to batter his wife.
He also used wet wipes to clean items including his hands and his watch, before throwing the items from the cab.
The images were caught in the reflection of his own windscreen, while the vidoe tape recorded him saying "I don't know what to do".
In court, wearing a red sweater and sporting a short beard, Montgomery stared down at his feet in the dock throughout the hearing.
Members of Mrs Montgomery's family looked on from the public gallery among them her mother and two grown-up children, from a previous relationship.
There was an outburst from the public gallery as he was sent down, but Montgomery made no response.
Friends said Montgomery, of Cross Street - a former soldier who had served in Northern Ireland - seemed utterly devoted to his partner with one describing how the trucker thought of her as his "everything".
However, he killed his wife and then set off to complete a shift at work where colleagues described him as seemingly calm.
He returned home and dialled 999 telling police he had walked in from work to find the body of hair-dresser Mrs Montgomery, as part of what prosecutors said was a charade to cover up his crime.
A post-mortem examination showed Mrs Montgomery had been stabbed multiple times and suffered at least 40 blows.
Her husband of 14 years had used four weapons to kill her, including a kettle, a rolling-pin - later recovered near a layby off the A4500 in Northamptonshire - a knife and another bladed instrument which has never been found.
There were also defensive wounds on the victim's body, with medical evidence showing Mrs Montgomery had taken up to an hour to die following the assault.
Gareth Evans QC, prosecuting, said: "This was a brutal, savage and prolonged attack on a woman with an intent to kill."
Although Montgomery's motives remain a mystery, the judge heard of his gambling habit and financial problems which had put pressure on the marriage.
A friend of the 50-year-old recalled a conversation in which Mrs Montgomery spoke of learning that her husband had spent £17,000 on betting in 2013.
She told the same friend she was "seriously considering leaving" after discovering the extent of his problem, according to Mr Evans.
Money which Montgomery had handled for the Kettlebrook working men's club also went missing in the days before he battered and stabbed his wife to death in the kitchen of their home.
Mrs Montgomery, a popular and well-liked manageress of a local hair salon, had been "idolised" by her husband, said Mr Evans.
Montgomery was also said to be a supportive stepfather to his wife's two children from a previous relationship - daughter Robbie-Marie and son Mark.
However, the judge said the murder had deprived her family, and particularly her son, who needed help to cope with a brain injury suffered in a road accident, of "a much-loved lady".
Detective Inspector Andy Maxfield, of Staffordshire Police, said the evidence against Montgomery had been "overwhelming".
He said: "Montgomery took the life of his own wife and he will have to live with that fact.
"He went to some lengths to conceal the murder weapon and to try to convince people his wife was still alive at the time he left for work.
"He tried to cover up his actions but his story soon unravelled and the evidence against him was overwhelming. He was forced to plead guilty
"This was a violent crime which resulted in a wife and mother's life being taken in dreadful circumstances and he is being made to pay for it."