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Belsize Park murder: ‘Violent man’ jailed for life after stabbing wife

PUBLISHED: 11:24 24 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:24 24 November 2016

Jose Leonardo, 56,  was found guilty of murdering 52-year-old Maria Mbombo

Jose Leonardo, 56, was found guilty of murdering 52-year-old Maria Mbombo

Archant

An Uber driver who stabbed his wife to death in their Belsize Park home after Googling “most painful place to stab someone” has been jailed for life.

Maria MbomboMaria Mbombo

Father-of-three Jose Leonardo, 56, repeatedly knifed 52-year-old Maria Mbombo – his wife of 28 years – before going to a shop to buy beer while his two sons discovered her body.

Leonardo, who lived with his family in Maitland Park Villas, admitted killing Maria but denied murder because he suffered a “loss of control”.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 22 years at the Old Bailey on Thursday last week.

But he was cleared of the charge of perverting the course of justice.

Police and forensics in Maitland Park after the murder of Maria MbomboPolice and forensics in Maitland Park after the murder of Maria Mbombo

Prosecuting QC John Price had previously told the jury Leonardo has searched the internet for the “most painful place to stab someone” just hours before murdering Maria on May 18.

When he was arrested in the early hours of the following morning, he said: “My wife is killed.”

Speaking after the verdict, Det Insp Simon Deefholts of the Homicide and Major Crime Command said:

“Leonardo has never revealed the exact events of that day in Maitland Park Villas and tried to claim in his defence that he lost control before launching the attack.

“It is clear that Leonardo was a violent man who could not control his temper.”

He added: “Domestic violence should not and cannot be tolerated. The Met has a robust policy on dealing with domestic abuse and an extensive network of partner agencies to provide on-going practical support. Wherever we identify barriers to reporting domestic violence, we will endeavor to break them down and safeguard those in violent or abusive relationships.”


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