A killer husband’s made a sick Facebook plea to help find his wife and created a web of lies after strangling her to death.
Matthew Fisher, 30, murdered his wife Abi in July just six months after she gave birth to their daughter who was conceived after intensive IVF treatment.
Fisher pleaded guilty to his wife’s murder and was sentenced today at Leeds Crown Court today for life.
School teacher Abi died as a result of strangulation, but was found with multiple injuries to her face and body.
Her body was found in undergrowth off Southmooor Road, near Brierley, South Yorkshire, on July 10. Fisher had called the police on the morning of July 9 to report his wife missing.
But he had already driven to South Yorkshire with Abi’s body in his car after strangling her to death. The court heard that the pair had had an argument on the evening of July 8 in which Abi threatened to go back and live with her parents.
Fisher told a psychiatrist that he “lost it” and smothered his wife with a t-shirt, but the prosecution today warned that his account did not fully explain the extent of Abi’s injuries.
The 30-year-old dumped his wife’s body in undergrowth adjacent to a layby before returning home to phone the police. He also called members of Abi’s family who rushed to the couple’s home to help look for her.
While in the company of Abi’s family, Fisher searched the internet for South Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Police and BBC News. The searches were described by Mr James Lake, prosecuting, as “plainly efforts to see if her [Abi’s] body had been discovered.”
Fisher took a walk with Abi’s dad in an attempt to ‘look for her’, during which he told him that Abi had been considering taking her own life. During the search for Abi he had posted on Facebook: “Has anyone seen Abi if you have can you please let me know or get her to give me a ring.”
But his web of lies began to unravel when CCTV footage caught his car leaving the Castleford area shortly after 4am on July 9.
Fisher was arrested and charged with Abi’s murder between July 8 and 9 after phone signal evidence proved he had been driving in the period he had told police he was asleep. The evidence also mirrored the journey caught on CCTV.
Sentencing Fisher to life in prison, His Honour Judge Bayliss KC said: “You have murdered your wife, the woman you loved. You have left your daughter without any parent to care for her. By your actions, you have taken one life and left the lives of so many others in tatters.”
Judge Bayliss described Fisher’s attempts to cover up what he had done by lying to the police and Abi’s family as “thoroughly cold hearted and calculated.”
In an emotional victim impact statement, Abi’s mum said: “You lived with us for five years. We treated you like a son.
“Anything we were asked to do to help you, we did. You sat there [on July 9] knowing that you had killed my baby girl.” Abi’s brother said Fisher had “made the world a darker place by removing her [Abi’s] light from it.”
Fisher had been due to be sentenced this morning, but the hearing was adjourned after there was a delay in getting him to court.
The judge warned Fisher that he would not “emerge” from prison “for a very long time.” If he is released after serving the minimum term, he will spend the rest of his life on licence.