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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Heiress killed in fit of jealousy
Suzy Healey
Ms Healey was filmed in 2004 for her work with neglected horses
Heiress killer Richard Holtby's actions were fuelled by his jealousy that his ex-fiancee had slept with another man.

Holtby strangled Suzy Healey at her Ellerker Hall home in August 2005, the weekend before her 40th birthday.

The mother-of-two was the daughter of millionaire Malcolm Healey, who made his fortune through Hygena Kitchens.

Her nine-month relationship with Holtby had generated a lot of interest. She stood to inherit millions while he was an unemployed car valet.

Heart of gold

Just three months after beginning their relationship, the couple announced their engagement in March 2005 and Holtby moved into Ellerker Hall.

But regular arguments about Holtby's lack of employment and his dislike of Miss Healey's drinking habits resulted in the wedding being called off.

By August, he had moved out of Ellerker Hall and was staying with his parents in South Cave.

On 21 August 2005, Miss Healey had been out celebrating her forthcoming birthday at a restaurant with family and friends. Holtby was not invited.

He went to Miss Healey's home later in the day while two of her friends were there and when they left they said all was well with the couple.

But Holtby later strangled Miss Healey in her bed, after she taunted him about sleeping with another man.

He then drove to a friend's home for the night and was arrested the following day in Whitby.

Healey had previously admitted Miss Healey's manslaughter but was ordered to stand trial for murder after the prosecution rejected his plea.

Ellerker Hall
Ellerker Hall stands in the centre of the village

On Tuesday, after a week-long trial, Holtby was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for Miss Healey's manslaughter.

Miss Healey was well known in the East Yorkshire village of Ellerker and her death came as a shock to residents who said she mixed well and took part in community events.

She had two teenage daughters, who lived with her ex-husband, and was a keen animal lover.

In 2004, she was filmed by the BBC at the animal sanctuary she ran in the grounds of Ellerker Hall for her work taking care of neglected horses.

Such openness was considered unusual from a family that was usually so reclusive.

Both her father and her uncle Eddie Healey, who built the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, shun publicity.

Peter Bolton, who knew Miss Healey through the local RSPCA, described her as a tremendous person who cared greatly for animal welfare.

"She was just a lovely person who had a heart of gold," he said.


SEE ALSO
Man for trial on heiress murder
09 Dec 05 |  Humber
Man charged with heiress murder
24 Aug 05 |  Humber

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