'Jealous and controlling' husband jailed for murder after stabbing wife 300 times in 'brutal' attack

·3-min read
George Leather stabbed wife Paula more than 300 times after suspecting she was having an affair (swns)
"Jealous and controlling" George Leather stabbed wife Paula more than 300 times leaving her dead body "unrecognisable" (swns)

A "jealous and controlling" husband who stabbed his wife 300 times during a "brutal" attack has been jailed for life.

George Leather, 60, inflicted between 50 and 100 injuries to 56-year-old Paula Leather’s face and neck, and between 200 to 300 injuries to her body, a court heard.

Liverpool Crown Court was told how the victim was unrecognisable when officers arrived at the "horrific" scene at their home in Prescot, Merseyside at 1.20am on November 16 2020.

A post-mortem concluded the grandmother died from stab wounds to the head.

Leather's family paid tribute to the "devoted" grandmother and said: "Mum will be missed beyond words but the life, the love and the memories we shared together will live on forever."

Father-of-three Leather was arrested at the scene and later charged with murder.

The court heard how he had subjected his wife to an abusive and controlling relationship for a number of years before the "brutal" attack.

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He had originally pleaded not guilty at a hearing in February this year, but on Friday changed his plea to guilty and was jailed for a minimum term of 18 years.

Speaking on behalf of Mrs Leather’s family, Detective Chief Inspector Helen Bennett said: “This was truly a horrific and violent assault which resulted in a devoted mum and nan losing her life at the hands of her husband.

“Mrs Leather’s children, Jason, Jessica and Matthew, have been devastated by their loss and have struggled to come to terms with the brutal manner in which she died.

“This was not a one-off violent attack.

"George Leather was an unjustifiably jealous and controlling man and while there were no previous reports to police, the family believe that Paula had been in an abusive and controlling relationship with her husband for a number of years.

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“Together with Merseyside Police, they want to raise awareness of the support that is available to anyone who is or has experienced domestic abuse or has been affected by it in order that nobody else has to suffer or silence or go through what they have been through.

“For anyone who is in a controlling relationship with an abusive partner but financially tied through a mortgage or tenancy, there are confidential support services available to help you and their children.

“If home is not a safe place for you then we want you to know that you are not alone and you do not have to stay at home if it is not safe to be there.”

Queen Elizaberth II Law Courts, which houses Liverpool Crown Court, is seen in Liverpool, Britain, January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble
George Leather, 60, was jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to murdering wife Paula (REUTERS/Phil Noble)

Mrs Leather worked at Asda supermarket in St Helens for 25 years.

After her death, her family issued a heart-breaking statement, in which they said she had "a smile that would light up the world".

Their tribute read: "Our gorgeous Mum has sadly been taken away from us in the most tragic of circumstances.

"Paula was beautiful inside and out; so kind, so loving and she was the person that was there for everyone.

"She was the mum of Jason, Jessica and Matthew and the proudest nanny to her first grandson.

"Paula was devoted to siblings Karen, Ian and Peter, to her large loving family and to her wonderful friends.

"She was a beautiful soul within her community with a smile to light up the world.

"Mum will be missed beyond words but the life, the love and the memories we shared together will live on forever."

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