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Pilot who murdered his wife in collision gets life

By Emma Sword

A former commercial airline pilot was jailed for life after being convicted of deliberately driving his car into a tree to murder his wife in an "act of pure evil".

Iain Lawrence (53) had disabled the passenger airbag and moments before ploughing his car into the tree unclipped his wife Sally's seatbelt, because he could not cope with the break-up of their 12-year marriage.

Leicestershire High Court judge Mr Justice Leggatt told Lawrence he would serve a minimum of 24 years in prison for the "brutal and carefully planned" murder.

The sentence came after a jury of six men and six women took just over eight hours to convict him of murder by a majority of 11-1 following a three-week trial. On October 6 last year, just two days before the final part of the couple's divorce was due, Lawrence ploughed his car into a tree in Oadby, Leicestershire, at more than 50mph.

Mrs Lawrence died of "catastrophic" injuries, while her husband was uninjured after adopting the brace position.

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