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Dad of two disabled girls handed life sentence for murdering his wife

Raymond and Jackie Hoadley with their two daughters
Raymond and Jackie Hoadley with their two daughters Image credit:

A man who murdered his estranged wife whilst she was sleeping in the room next to their nine-year-old disabled daughter on July 5 2020.

Raymond Hoadley, 62, killed his ex-partner Jackie, 58, using a pair of handheld cutters after he forced her to sign a £1million contract.

Jackie’s body was found with seven stab wounds to the face and neck, her carotid artery and jugular vein had been cut off and defensive injuries implied she had attempted to fight off her attacker.

On Monday Hoadley received a life sentence from Judge Jeremy Gold QC at Lewes Crown Court.

The judge told Hoadley: 'Having committed this dreadful murder, you returned home and carried on life as normal.

'You had carefully planned the explanation that you would give to the police when suspicion fell upon you, as it inevitably would, and you spun a web of lies when interviewed in an attempt to avoid liability for your actions.'

He added: ‘Just a few days before you killed Jackie, you persuaded her to sign a document which ensured that you would benefit financially to a very significant extent in the event of her death.’

Hoadley’s adopted daughter, who has vision loss and unable to walk, shouted for help after hearing screams from her parents’ room, but her carer didn’t arrive until 12 hours after the fatal stabbing.

Before the carer arrived Hoadley had cleaned the murder weapon, drove to the seafront and threw it into the sea, the scissors were found a month later by a beachcomber washed up on the same beach.

The couple had two severely disabled children and lived in an adapted Eastbourne home worth £300,000.

They had £1millon in savings which included a £300,000 criminal pay-out for their daughter, but the bank account was not in Hoadley’s own name.

He was concerned his wife would find somebody else and take the money when they filed for a divorce and he was kicked out of the family home and was forced to move into a bedsit.

After trying to take a fatal overdose Hoadley was transferred to a mental health unit before moving back to Eastbourne in a studio apartment near the sea.

At his new home he tried to save money by stealing food from local shops making him unpopular with his housemates who believed he was also using their shopping out of the fridge without asking their permission.

When police raided the family home and the studio apartment they found hundreds of scissors which Hoadley had an obsession with.

Mrs Hoadley was a disability rights campaigner, among her achievements she successfully changed the law for families with disabled children to receive free sanitary products.

At this week’s court case Caroline Carberry QC for the Crown said Mrs Hoadley was a loving mother who had been beaten, stabbed and strangled to death by her husband.

A woman who lived next to Mr Hoadley in the bedsit told the court she overheard a phone conversation between him and his wife a month before the murder.

Cranberry told the court Hoadley was telling his wife 'I'm going to kill you I'm going to strangle you’.

On July 4 2020 Mr Hoadley was captured on film driving a van carrying wheelchairs by a dash-cam from a taxi on its way to the family home late in the evening.

Earlier in the trial Carberry QC told the court: 'Raymond Hoadley told friends he was frustrated with his wife and he wanted to divorce and sort out their finances.

'He told friend his wife could have the £300,000 family home and the allowances for the children and he could have the rest.'

Carberry went on to discuss the hand written contract Hoadley made his wife sign after losing his temper on June 21.

'That document drawn up a very short time before his wife's death, indicates his very real interest in the substantial financial affairs of the couple.'

The contract stated: 'In the event of either of the above not being around, the remaining will be sole owner of all above assets, money and investments.’

Carberry told the court: 'You may find money had something to do with the motivation behind this killing.’

A statement from Jackie Hoadley's family said: 'Jackie was an exceptional lady who will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

'We would like everyone to focus on the achievements of her life especially the positive impact she has made for disability awareness and not for the tragic circumstances surrounding her death.'

DCI Andy Wolstenholme of Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: 'We welcome the jury decision to convict Raymond Hoadley of the murder of his wife.

'It was a brutal and calculated attack and one that Raymond Hoadley consistently denied any involvement with.

'He sought to disguise his guilt in a web of lies with a thin veneer of truth.

'However, police, prosecution and ultimately jury were able to see through those lies and hold him to account for the terrible, terrible crime he committed.

'Jacqueline leaves behind two children who she absolutely adored and spent her life caring for and it is our hope her memory will live on with those children and her wonderful family who have been so supportive throughout this entire investigation and trail.'

Raymond Hoadley moved out of the family home in April after spending time in psychiatric care.