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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 15:48 GMT
Caretaker guilty of wife's murder
Donna Hunt
Mrs Hunt's body was found at the school by a member of staff
A caretaker who admitted killing his wife in a Berkshire school car park has been jailed for life for her murder.

Stephen Hunt, 45, said that he had lashed out at Donna, 41, at Forest School, Winnersh, on 5 February.

The court heard how Mr Hunt, of Church Close, Winnersh, hit his wife of 17 years over the head with a bar, after finding out she had been unfaithful.

The judge at Oxford Crown Court said he must serve a minimum of 13 years before being considered for parole.

Mr Hunt, a caretaker at Forest School, had admitted manslaughter but denied murder, telling the court that he never intended to kill his wife.

Sexual relationship

In interviews, Mr Hunt told police that he and his wife, who was a lab technician at Forest School, had a happy marriage.

But John Price, prosecuting, said it was plagued with rows over debt and his gambling.

During the trial, the court heard Mrs Hunt would often go out late on a Friday night with colleagues, drinking and flirting, which led to a sexual relationship with one of the group.

The jury heard how Mrs Hunt, had woken up after a nap on the Sunday afternoon that she was killed and began to argue with Mr Hunt.

They went outside into the car park of the all-boys school where Mrs Hunt told her husband that she was having sex with one of his friends.

He told police that in his rage he picked up an iron bar and struck out blindly.

Mr Price told the trial that when Mr Hunt's daughters, aged 13 and 15, woke on Monday morning to find their mum was not at home, Mr Hunt played out a charade of searching for her.

Stephen hunt (couresy of Thames Valley Police)
Stephen Hunt admitted killing his wife with an iron bar

As they searched in the school grounds, a colleague discovered her body as he arrived for work.

He called for help and Mr Hunt ran over, saying he was looking for his wife and he then called her mobile phone, the court was told.

When a phone on the as-yet unidentified body began ringing, Mr Hunt feigned shock.

Two days later, he broke down and admitted to police he had killed her.

The family of Mrs Hunt have paid tribute to her, saying in a statement: "Since Donna was taken away from us in such a cruel manner it has caused ripples throughout family and friends.

"This event has robbed us all of a mother, daughter, sister and friend. All we can hold on to are personal memories of Donna's vitality and fun and treasure them forever."


SEE ALSO
Caretaker had 'no plan to kill'
01 Nov 06 |  Berkshire
Caretaker 'beat wife in a rage'
30 Oct 06 |  Berkshire
Husband charged over school death
09 Feb 06 |  Berkshire
School murder police arrest man
07 Feb 06 |  Berkshire
Woman's body found on school site
06 Feb 06 |  Berkshire

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