DAVID Pomphret has been sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve a minimum of 20 years for murdering his wife Ann-Marie.

Judge David Aubrey imposed the sentence at Liverpool Crown Court today, Tuesday, after Pomphret was found guilty of killing the 49-year-old on Old Alder Lane in Burtonwood in November last year.

Sentencing Pomphret, Judge Aubrey said: "You bludgeoned her to death, intending to kill her.

"It was a brutal and savage attack perpetrated upon her.

Warrington Guardian: Ann-Marie PomphretAnn-Marie Pomphret

"You hit her with a crowbar, focusing on her head on at least 30 occasions.

"I am satisfied, that, at least initally, you struck her to the back of the head.

"She had defensive injuries to both her hands.

"She must have been pleading and begging for you to stop.

"You did not, and you continued to strike her repeatedly when she must have been on one knee or had fallen to the ground.

"You then immediately set about trying to save yourself, before going home to continue with your deceit and plan, leaving your wife on the pathway.

"A family has been destroyed, a daughter has lost her mother - murdered by her father, who is now about to commence a sentence of life imprisonment.

"I'm satisfied you had not lost your control, and you did what you did in a calm, calculated manner with planning or in anger."

Pomphret, 51, of Masefield Drive in Winwick, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, not accepting the murder charge due to a 'loss of control’.

On Friday, a jury panel of seven women and five men found Pomphret guilty of murder after 10 hours and 42 minutes of deliberations.

READ> David Pomphret found guilty of murder

The court spent two weeks hearing how Pomphret had attempted to cover his tracks after he killed Ann-Marie, disposing of the murder weapon in a pond, washing his hands and burning his clothes before telling emergency services he had merely found her 'lying in a pool of blood'.

Warrington Guardian: The murder weaponThe murder weapon

The prosecution described him as 'an accomplished actor and an accomplished liar' after lying to police for six months before the evidence was laid out before him and he admitted to killing his wife.

The case was set against years of physical and verbal abuse against Pomphret by Ann-Marie, ultimately causing him to 'snap'.

Mr Richard Pratt, representing Pomphret said: "We submit the court could not properly come to the conclusion that this was a pre-planned killing.

"The question of whether this is a loss of temper or control is sometimes a difficult line to draw.

"Whatever happened, happened suddenly.

"It is a line that is difficult to define.

"The prosecution set out the marital difficulties, which is something of an understatement.

"This was not a man who led just a blameless life, he lived a constructive life and supported his wife.

"It's a sad case, I make no apology for saying that.

"I ask the court to apply compassion."

Judge Aubrey described the 999 call Pomphret made to emergency services as a 'charade', designed to show him as the shocked and distraught husband. 

READ> David Pomphret calls 999 after 'finding' dead wife

He said: "You had already embarked upon your design to cover your tracks and recreate the events of that frightful night. 

"You said in that 999 call your wife was very dead. You knew she was very dead, you had intended and wished her to be very dead. 

"The question is why, and only you know that, and when you decided to do that which you did?"

Judge Aubrey explained the sequence of events following Ann-Marie's death - how Pomphret had disposed of the murder weapon in a pond, a hammer in a rabbit hole, burning his clothes, pretending he was at home, staging DIY in the bathroom, taking the Volvo to the scene, sending texts to his dead wife and lying to emergency services in police interviews. 

Warrington Guardian: The scene last yearThe scene last year

He explained: "It was a web of deceit and lies. 

"You are an accomplished liar. It was an act, designed, as you admitted in evidence, to seek 'to get away with it'. 

"You may well have done so had it not been for one factor. 

"You forgot to change your socks." 

READ> How David Pomphret's socks forced him to admit killing wife

Asking why Pomphret had killed his wife he contemplated what happened at the stables that night. 

He said: "I am satisfied that if your wife did make any remarks at the scene you have grossly misrepresented that which she said. 

"The court will, of course, sentence you against the background of the issues that your wife undoubtedly had, her character, her personality and health issues, much of which was not of her making. 

"Throughout your relationship you had displayed patience and calmness in the manner in which you coped with all those difficult issues."

Judge Aubrey said there was a number of signposts which suggested Pomphret had planned the attack on Ann-Marie, including his possession of the crowbar and his knowledge that his daughter would not be at home. 

Aggravating features in the case were the 'ferocious attack' causing 'catastrophic injuries'. 

Judge Aubrey explained: "She must have suffered mentally and physically before one of the blows finally killed her and this court has no doubt you continued to inflict further blows upon her to make sure she was dead." 

The court also heard how Judge Aubrey believed Pomphret showed no remorse for his actions. 

Warrington Guardian: David PomphretDavid Pomphret

The mitigating features in this case are Pomphret's character, background, the nature of his relationship with his wife and his previous patience and calmness.

Judge Aubrey continued: "The sentence in this case is one of life imprisonment.

"I impose a minimum term of 20 years, from which must be deducted 194 days which you have spent on remand for this offence - making a final minimum term of 19 years and 178 days.

"You will thus be in your early 70s before you are eligible for parole."