Murderer chef starts life sentence

A SUFFOLK chef who bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer after a row about her relationship with another man is today starting a life sentence for her murder.

A SUFFOLK chef who bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer after a row about her relationship with another man, is today starting a life sentence for her murder.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court took seven hours to find 43-year-old Colin Dorey guilty, by a 10-2 majority verdict, of murdering his 37-year-old wife Christine as she lay on a settee at their Beddell Close, Bury St Edmunds home.

Mrs Dorey was hit at least ten times in the head and face with a heavy club hammer.

Police attended after receiving a 999 call from Dorey, and found his wife's lifeless body under a blood stained blanket in the lounge while the couple's three children Lettie, aged ten, Sam aged nine and three-year-old Ellie were asleep upstairs.

Yesterday Dorey remained impassive as the jury foreman returned the guilty verdict while members of his family cried in the public gallery.

Mrs Dorey's parents Sue and Hugh Buxton later issued a statement saying: "There can be no joy as a result of the jury's decision. Mr Dorey's actions have deprived us of our daughter and our grandchildren of their mother. Indeed after January 3 the children have in effect lost both parents".

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Dorey, who worked as a chef at Trinity College, Cambridge, had denied murdering his wife but admitted manslaughter. His plea was not accepted by the prosecution.

After the verdict, defence counsel Graham Parkins QC described Dorey as a "quiet, gentle, perhaps somewhat naïve man who was unable to cope with what befell him".

The court heard that only a few years after their marriage Mrs Dorey had an affair with an 18-year-old apprentice chef which resulted in her becoming pregnant.

After being reconciled with his wife Dorey had been present at the birth of Lettie in 1990, and had brought her up as his own alongside the son and daughter he and Christine went on to have together.

In the months before his wife's death, Dorey became suspicious that his wife was having another affair with a man called Andrew Dell who had worked with her at Tescos.

He was aware his wife was sending Mr Dell regular text messages and he discovered a photograph of Mr Dell half-naked on a bed and contraceptive pills in her handbag.

On the evening of Mrs Dorey's death the couple had argued about her relationship with Mr Dell. Mrs Dorey said that if Mr Dell had been single she would have run off with him "at the drop of a hat."

Dorey said he could see his life and everything he had worked for falling to bits and he had "flipped".

He could remember getting a hammer he had bought earlier in the day to demolish a playhouse in the garden out of a bag and going into the lounge where his wife was resting on the settee.

He couldn't remember what happened next as his mind went blank. "I must have hit her but I don't really remember," he said.

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