FORK-lift truck driver Brian Buckley is today beginning a life sentence for the brutal murder of the mother of his two children.
A judge said he had shown no remorse for a dreadful attack and must serve 22 years before he can be considered for release.
Victim Leah Ingham, 25, was cruelly battered in the living room of the home they shared at Montgomery Road, Wrexham, one Sunday evening last February.
He did not call an ambulance but sat with her body for two hours. He even posed as Leah when he sent text messages to the new love in her life telling him he would never see her again.
Buckley, 41, had denied murder and said he did not intend her serious harm but a Mold Crown Court jury convicted him after retiring for 90 minutes and found he battered her, kicked her, punched her, headbutted her and throttled her. She had bleeding to the brain and had inhaled blood into her lungs.
Although he claimed Leah was the aggressor, Buckley ended up with just a few scratch marks – probably the result of her desperate struggle for life.
Buckley showed no emotion when the verdict was returned.
Jailing him, Judge Merfyn Hughes, QC, told Buckley that after an unhappy and disturbed upbringing which led to a serious and prolonged period of heroin addiction he met Leah and began to turn his life around.
“Each of you supported the other,” he said, and they abstained from drugs misuse. When is 2008 she relapsed, the support which she was entitled to expect from you was not forthcoming, the judge said.
“I am satisfied that during the last 18 months of her life, you acted towards her in an abusive, threatening and violent manner.”
There were many occasions when, because of his violence towards her, it was quite clear she feared he was capable of doing what he eventually did, which was to kill her.
His propensity to cause serious violence towards a female partner went back some years and led to convictions for assaulting his former wife.
The judge said there was no compelling evidence that at the time of her murder Leah was misusing heroin, as suspected by Buckley. However, she was misusing amphetamine.
At the same time she formed a relationship with another man. “You faced the prospect of losing your partner and your children,” the judge told Buckley.
On Sunday, February 7, while Leah and the children were at her parents’ home, he consumed a significant quantity of alcohol.
During the later confrontation he attacked her in a dreadful manner.
He headbutted her causing a serious laceration to the forehead, punched her a number of times to the head and face and kicked her to the head.
He then went onto asphyxiate her, put his hand over her mouth and his arm around her neck in a deliberate attempt to stop her breathing, the judge said.
Buckley then brutally assaulted her again when she was still alive, or may be at the point she was dying, causing her internal injuries and bleeding.
Buckley said that he was looking for drugs, but the judge said he found there was a sexual component to what he had done.
POLICE have released the recording of the 999 call Buckley made on the night of Leah's death.
Listen to it below. Some readers may find contents of the recording distressing.
|To hear the 999 call click on the play button
See full story in the Leader