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Nurse who stabbed husband to death as he lay in bed jailed after she ‘took her chance’

A nurse who stabbed her husband to death as he lay in bed has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 17 years in prison for his murder.

Rebecca Searing, from Harlow, Essex, told a 999 call handler: “I’ve stabbed my husband twice.”

The 52-year-old attacked 57-year-old Paul Searing early on February 12, several hours after he returned from the pub to their home in Harlow, Essex, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Judge Christopher Morgan said the defendant, who had also been drinking, helped her husband upstairs then returned downstairs at their home in Ryecroft.

“Shortly before 2.30am you took a knife from the kitchen, you made your way upstairs and you stabbed your husband as he lay in bed,” said the judge.

He said Searing had later said: “Tonight I took my chance.”

She had also sent a message to someone saying “it’s time to kill”.

The judge said the defendant’s husband had “presented no threat” and “in all probability he was asleep”.

He said Searing had suggested that her husband called her “worthless” or “useless”.

The judge said: “At whatever stage, those words were no justification for what you were to do later on.”

Searing was found guilty of murder following an earlier nine-day trial.

Prosecutor Allan Compton QC read a statement from Mr Searing’s sister Karen Krokou, in which she said he had “worked hard as a cabinet maker and took pride in his work”.

She described him as “happy go lucky and football mad, he loved Tottenham Hotspur”.

Mr Searing, who had children, was an “exceptionally loyal man, caring, warm and kind”, Ms Krokou said.

The family said: “He was the most gentle, loyal and loving person. We never felt anything other than love, and safety in his presence.

“Paul’s relationship with Rebecca contributed to a rift between him and his sons. He had been working to rebuild that relationship, and this was cruelly ended by Rebecca.

“It’s had a huge impact on his 89-year-old father, who is quite frail and withdrawn as he tries to come to terms with his son [being] gone. All we have been left with is ‘I can’t remember’.

“The 999 call played to the courtroom was chilling. We cannot understand why a trained and dedicated nurse would leave Paul to die.

“It’s been hard to hear him be painted as an aggressive and violent drunk who would harm Rebecca when we only knew him as loving.

“She may have been a good nurse, but that doesn’t make her a good person.” In mitigation, Sasha Wass QC said that she “still loves him” and that she herself is still unable to explain what happened during the early hours of that morning.”

Ms Krokou described the defendant’s 999 call as “chilling”, adding: “She may have been a good nurse but that doesn’t make her a good person.”

Sasha Wass QC, mitigating, said the married couple had a “complex relationship”.

She said: “She loved him despite the complexity of that relationship and she still loves him.”

Ms Wass said it was “a relationship that involved regular domestic violence”.

Searing, who wore a grey prison-issue tracksuit, looked straight ahead as the judge sentenced her to life in jail.

She must serve 17 years before she can be considered for parole.