Ex-Pilot Jailed For Life For Wife Murder

Iain Lawrence deliberately crashed car in Oadby - after disabling wife's airbag and unclipping seatbelt.

A former commercial airline pilot was jailed for life today for murdering his wife by deliberately crashing his car into a tree after her airbag had been disabled. 

Iain Lawrence, 53, was found guilty of murdering his wife Sally by a jury after a three-week trial at Leicester Crown Court. 

High Court judge Mr Justice Leggatt told Lawrence he would serve a minimum term of 24 years. 

Prosecutors said Lawrence adopted the brace position in the crash as Mrs Lawrence, who was not wearing a seat-belt, died almost instantly.

Detective Superintendent Neil Castle, who investigated the murder, said: 

"This was a complex investigation involving specialists and professionals from a variety of fields. I would like to thank those experts along with my investigation team and the Crown Prosecution Service for all their hard work and commitment over the past eight months. 

Collectively we have proved that Iain Lawrence intentionally drove his car into a tree, after deactivating the passenger airbag and unclipping the passenger seatbelt. These actions resulted in the death of Sally Lawrence and he has now been convicted of her murder. 

This offence was premeditated and planned and was driven by jealously and financial gain, these facts have influenced his substantial sentence. In cases like these there is always more than one victim. 

Sally leaves behind a grieving family including her two daughters Jess and Rosie and her son William. The whole family have shown immense strength throughout the investigation and trial and I hope that today?s verdict provides them with some comfort"

Speaking on behalf of Sally's family, her sister Catherine Kudhail said: 

"Our family is here today because of the cruel, callous, evil and sickening act of murder against "Our beautiful Sally." On the day Sally died a part of us died with her. 

Our family feels a huge sense of relief at the guilty verdict the jury has delivered in this trial. 

We now hope that an appropriate sentence will be imposed, reflecting the devastating impact that Sally's murder has had on all those who were close to her. 

Sally's murder was an act of pure evil. She was an inspirational, caring, kind young woman with a huge heart. She was so full of life. Losing her has been unbearable, not a day goes by without her being in our thoughts. 

She has been taken from us at the most happiest point in her life and has been denied what was undoubtedly to be a very happy future. 

"We would like to convey our heartfelt thanks to Detective Superintendent Neil Castle, Detective Sergeant Kevin Burdett and Detective Constable Dawn Watts and their team from Leicestershire police and Crown Prosecutor Nirmal Shant for their dedication and tireless work to bring this case to court. 

Thank you also to the witnesses who came forward to give evidence in very distressing circumstances. We would like to extend our gratitude to the jury, who have seen through the lies and deceit of Iain Lawrence in his attempt to minimise his responsibility for the brutal murder of Sally. They have played a huge part in finally enabling this murderer to be held to account for taking our daughter, sister and friend from us and for taking a mother from her three children.