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Gambling addict bludgeoned wife to death with hammer after Elvis ticket row

Paul Abbott struck his wife at least 16 times
Paul Abbott struck his wife at least 16 times

A gambling addict has been jailed for at least 15 years for bludgeoning his estranged wife to death with a hammer after a row over tickets to an Elvis tribute act.

Paul Abbott, 57, killed Jacqueline Abbott by striking her at least 16 times at their family home in December last year, West Midlands Police said.

In a statement issued after Abbott was jailed for life at Wolverhampton Crown Court, police said Mrs Abbott was attacked in the back garden of their property in Lodge Crescent, Netherton, Dudley.

Abbott is believed to have confronted his 54-year-old wife after being told she had sold his ticket for the tribute act on eBay.

In an interview, Abbott claimed his wife lunged at him, scratching him across the face, but he admitted lashing out with a hammer after "losing the plot".

He went on to admit murder in March and has now been ordered to serve at least 15 years behind bars before he is considered for parole.

Commenting on the case, Detective Inspector Justin Spanner said: "Abbott suggested it was a red mist moment and that, despite the relationship being on the rocks, he still loved his wife.

"However, we proved to the court a history of domestic violence and showed that this was a jealous and controlling relationship throughout.

"This was not a loss of temper or a split-second loss of control - Abbott pursued Mrs Abbott down stairs, stopped to deactivate an alarm, and then struck her twice more in the garden.

"This is a tragic case: Mrs Abbott was looking to break from an abusive relationship that she'd endured for a long time and had just returned from a week away with friends. It should have been a fresh start for her - but Abbott cruelly cut her life short."