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Father who stabbed wife to death in Belsize Park home found guilty of murder

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:39 15 November 2016

Maria Mbombo

Maria Mbombo

Archant

A father-of-three has been found guilty of stabbing his wife to death at their family home - leaving his sons to find her blood-soaked body.

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

Uber taxi driver Jose Leonardo, 56, repeatedly knifed 52-year-old Maria Mbombo in the body and arms and left her to bleed to death in a bedroom at their home in Maitland Park Villas, Belsize Park, on May 18, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.

He then went to buy beer from a local shop leaving his two sons to find her body, it is claimed.

Leonardo had admitted killing his wife but had claimed he should be cleared of murder because he suffered from a “loss of control”.

But the jury found him guilty of murder after prosecutor John Price QC said Leonardo’s phone had been used to search Google for “the most painful place to stab someone” a few hours before Mrs Mbombo was killed.

Maria Mbombo killing - Police and forensics at Chesnut House, Maitland Park 19.05.16.Maria Mbombo killing - Police and forensics at Chesnut House, Maitland Park 19.05.16.

The couple met in 1988 and had two sons Carl, now 23, and Jacque, 27.

The court had heard how On May 18 this year Jacque returned to the flat to find the door locked from the inside.

Mr Price said Leonardo must have been inside with his dead or dying wife at the time.

Leonardo left the flat an hour later and both Jacque and Carl ran inside to find their mother lying on her back on the bedroom floor. Her face was purple and she was not breathing.

Leonardo, who had cuts to his wrist, was arrested near the Super Choice Convenience Store, in Queens Crescent after midnight.

He told officers: “My wife is killed.”

Speaking after the verdict, Detective Inspector 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. 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.”

Leonardo was found not guilty on a second count of perverting the course of justice.

He will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 15 November.

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