THE detective who led the investigation into Ann-Marie Pomphret’s murder says it was one of the biggest in Cheshire Police’s history.

Officers searched CCTV cameras across a 2km radius, visited more than 300 addresses across the town and removed more than 200 tonnes of slurry from the couple’s farmland on Old Alder Lane in Burtonwood.

David Pomphret for many months denied responsibility for his wife’s death, but the force says it ‘left no stone unturned’ in proving that he was the murderer.

This also involved logging and checking 1,300 people and 480 vehicles, and an underwater search team spending 24 days exploring nearby watercourses.

Warrington Guardian:

The crowbar David Pomphret used to murder his wife was found after a pond at the stables was drained

Detective inspector Adam Waller said: “This case was truly shocking and one of the biggest investigations the constabulary has seen in recent years.

“The injuries sustained by Ann Marie were horrific and all those involved in this investigation were determined to find her killer and ensure they were brought to justice for their actions.

“The diligence and determination of every single officer and member of staff who worked on this case paid off and the evidence they tirelessly gathered was so overwhelming that, when Pomphret was presented with this after he was charged, he couldn’t maintain the lie any longer and he was left with no choice but to plead guilty to killing his wife.

Warrington Guardian:

Ann-Marie and David Pomphret in Asda in Golborne less than an hour before she was murdered

“However, this was after 15 police interviews had taken place and having spent five months on bail maintaining his innocence.

“What Pomphret did that day ripped a family apart and he will now have to face the consequences of that behind bars.

Warrington Guardian:

“My thoughts go out to Ann Marie’s family, who have had to wait until this trial took place and then have the upsetting details laid bare in the media coverage.

“I hope that, whilst it won’t bring Ann Marie back, seeing justice being done will help them in some way.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who spent many hours, weeks and months of their time helping us to get to the truth, not only for Ann Marie’s family’s, but all those who knew and loved her and for the residents of Winwick, Burtonwood and the wider community.”

David Pomphret thought he had committed the 'perfect murder', believes the Crown Prosecution Service's charging barrister David Jones.

He said: “We said that David Pomphret intended to kill his wife or cause her serious harm – that in law is murder, not manslaughter.

“Mr Pomphret used a crowbar to rain a multitude of blows on his wife and then went to elaborate lengths to cover up what he had done and lied for months about what he had done.

“These are not  the actions of a man who had temporarily lost control. They are the actions of a murderer, who knows exactly what he is doing and means to do it.

“The Crown Prosecution Service never argued that the Pomphrets had a perfect marriage.

"Ann-Marie Pomphret may not have been an easy person, but she didn’t deserve to die.

"David Pomphret thought he’d committed the perfect murder but killers always eventually make mistakes.

“Crucially, he forgot to change the socks he had on, the night of the killing, despite changing all of his other clothes.

"The socks contained airborne spatters of blood and were proof that he was there at the time of the killing.

“The CPS could have accepted his plea to manslaughter but we were convinced that all of the evidence showed a clear intention to kill Anne Marie.

“The jury have agreed with the Crown’s case and dismissed Mr Pomphret’s defence of loss of control.

"But there are no winners in this case.

"The Pomphret's daughter, who has just turned 18 has lost both her mother and her father in effect, as Mr Pomphret now faces a life sentence.

"Our thoughts remain with her at this difficult time.”