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Tina Longworth was strangled on 08 January 1997 by her husband, Paul Simon Longworth (then 37), who then hung her body over a bannister in order to make it look like she had committed suicide. After murdering his wife, Longworth went to the local club for drinks in order to establish an alibi. Suspicions were aroused when it was revealed at autopsy that Mrs Longworth had 36 separate injuries on her body. Mrs Longworth had also accused her husband of raping her, and Longworth had even admitted to a friend that he had hit her. Tina Longworth left behind two children, Abby (then seven) and Matthew (then five), who were sleeping nearby at the time of their mother’s murder.
Longworth was sentenced to Life, with a minimum tariff of 14 years. A High Court ruling means he can asked to be freed in 2011.
The Independent (27 Feb 1998 )
Yachtsman gets life for killing wife and faking suicide
By Louise Jury
WHEN mother-of-two Tina Longworth disappeared under water as she overturned her sailing dinghy, her husband Paul was unmoved. “The only trouble is she’s coming up,” he said.
Three weeks later, the yachting commodore celebrated his 37th birthday by strangling her, then attempting to fake her suicide.
The truth began to unravel when police noticed strange scratches and bruises on her body.
Yesterday, despite repeated denials, Paul Longworth, 38, received a life sentence for her murder. In a month-long trial at Liverpool Crown Court, the jury was told of the Longworths’ turbulent marriage through the gossipy conversations of the Southport Sailing Club in Merseyside which was their social life.
After seven years together, the marriage had run into difficulties. Longworth admitted to a friend, Dave Smith, that he had hit his wife and on another occasion, Mrs Longworth accused her husband of raping her. As the marriage deteriorated, she began an affair with local firefighter Gary Silcock. “She met me for the same reason I met her – things were not right at home,” Mr Silcock told the court. “She didn’t want to leave Paul. She didn’t want to hurt him and she couldn’t leave her children.” That decision led to her death.
Detective Inspector Bob Morrison, who investigated the murder, said he believed the couple had an argument on the morning of Paul Longworth’s birthday. “He admitted he had ripped up a birthday card in front of his wife in the morning,” the inspector said outside court. “He went to work and when he came back the argument continued.” The killing itself was less a crime of passion than of temper, he said. “He is a ruthless and possessive man.”
What apparently happened was this: Longworth strangled his wife on the evening of 8 January last year. He strung her body from the banisters of their home with a piece of sailing rope as their children, Abby, seven, and Matthew, five, slept near by. And he went for a birthday drink at the sailing club for an alibi. On his return, he dialled 999 sounding distraught and desperate and woke neighbours to demand their help.
As a neighbour who was a nurse searched for Mrs Longworth’s pulse, he sat on the stairs, cradling her head and stroking her hair. Despite the absence of a note, police at first thought at first they were dealing with a suicide. Mrs Longworth had previously received treatment for a phobia about cancer and her husband claimed she was depressed. But the seeds of doubts were sown when police became suspicious of the number of marks on her body. A post-mortem examination revealed 36 separate injuries. The tone of her diary and letters to her grandfather were at odds with an interpretation of depression and medical evidence suggested she had made a complete recovery from her illness phobia.
Longworth, who worked in an opticians, had at first pretended their marriage was perfectly normal. When he was re-interviewed in the light of the suspicions, he admitted he and his wife had had a turbulent year. But he denied murder to the very end.
After the case yesterday, Detective Inspector Morrison said he believed the verdict was the right one. “Paul Longworth has been described as a ruthless and callous individual. The murder he committed and his actions since have proved that description to be true. “Although I am obviously pleased with the result, the reality of today is that two young children have, in effect, lost their father as well as their mother.” He was surprised, he added, that the dead woman’s family had supported Longworth throughout the trial. But that was testimony indeed to how plausible the killer’s lies had been.
Copyright 1998 Newspaper Publishing PLC
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.
Liverpool Daily Post (08 Mar 2008 )
Murderer gets date to ask for freedom
By Aaron Boland
A keen yachtsman who murdered his wife, and then claimed she had killed herself, can ask to be freed in three years time following a High Court ruling yesterday.
Paul Simon Longworth, from Southport, Merseyside, was found guilty of murdering his wife, Tina, in February, 1999.
He had strangled her in early January, 1997, and then hung her body from the banisters of their home with a sailing rope while their young children slept nearby.
Following his trial, Longworth was jailed for life.
After reviewing the case at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Goldring set his tariff, the minimum number of years he must spend behind bars, at 14 years.
Given the time he spent on remand, the judge’s ruling means Longworth, 38 at the time he was sentenced, can ask to be freed in 2011.