A man has been sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering his estranged partner.
Scott Ellis, aged 42 years from Tunstall Green appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on trial for the murder of Jane Bartholomew aged 39 years from Martlesham Heath.
Police were called by a member of the public living in Lark Rise, Martlesham Heath at approximately 8.55pm on Friday 13 June with a report that there were concerns for a person living nearby whose family could not get a response from the house.
Police officers attended the address in Lark Rise and after gaining access found Jane Bartholomew deceased inside the property.
Earlier that same day, police had attended an address in Tunstall Green near Woodbridge after receiving a report from the ambulance service that a man at the address had sustained injuries to his wrists. The man was taken to Ipswich hospital to receive treatment for his injuries.
After the discovery of Jane Bartholomew in Martlesham Heath and information received, police arrested the man, Scott Ellis on suspicion of murder.
A murder investigation was initiated by the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team in order to secure a charging decision.
A post mortem examination established that Jane Bartholomew had died as a result of significant head injuries.
Police found a holdall in Scott Ellis’ car, the holdall contained a claw hammer (which after forensic examination was found to have Jane Bartholomew’s blood on it), nylon rope, scissors, a Stanley knife, duct tape, bin liners, freezer bags and a spade.
Further enquiries established that Scott Ellis had bought the duct tape, bin liners, freezer bags and spade from a shop in Kesgrave on 7 June and the remaining holdall contents from a hardware shop in Wickham Market on 12 June.
When found, Jane’s arms and legs were tied with rope and she had a bin liner over her feet.
After officers spoke with a friend of Jane, it became apparent that Ellis had assaulted Jane outside her place of work in Rendlesham on 22 May, although not reported to police the friend had taken photographs on her mobile phone of the injuries Jane sustained. It is thought he had assaulted her because she had told him the relationship was over.
Further witnesses confirmed that Ellis had told two friends that he wanted to kill Jane by hitting her with a hammer, putting her in a bag and dumping her body at sea.
Today, Wednesday 10 December, at Ipswich Crown Court the jury found Scott Ellis guilty of murder and he was sentenced to 22 years.
Speaking after sentencing Detective Inspector Kevin Hayward from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team said: “With the findings of our investigation it was very apparent that this was a pre meditated murder by Scott Ellis. He deliberately went out and bought items which he later used to kill Jane Bartholomew with and tie her up.
“Jane had been hit around the head around 20 times and she had also sustained injuries to her arms and hands suggesting that she had put up a defensive fight against Ellis. It would appear that this was a murder fuelled by rejection and jealousy that Jane wanted to move on with her life.
“This was a terrible tragedy, not least because Jane’s body was discovered by her eldest daughter who raised the alarm when she became concerned for her mother’s well-being.
“Ellis denied murder throughout stating that he acted with diminished responsibility. Today’s verdict confirms that Ellis committed a premeditated murder which has tragically left three girls without their mother.
We sincerely hope that the verdict and sentencing at court will help the family to now move on with their lives and help them come to terms with what has happened with the support of extended family around them.”