A man who used a carrier bag to murder his wife so he could run off with his male lover was known for being abusive before he struck.

Mitesh Patel, then 37, killed wife Jessica at their home so he could get life insurance cash and elope with his boyfriend.

Her death left loved ones shocked, but pal Scott Summers, who worked for the couple at their pharmacy, had already seen first-hand how controlling Patel was.

Scott said: “Mitesh always used to speak down to her. He’d never say anything nice to her. It was always negative.

“She never used to say anything back. She just put her head down and cracked on.”

Mitesh Patel's wife Jessica
Her death left loved ones shocked

Scott often saw Jessica, 34, arrive at work covered in bruises.

But in 2018 she found out about Patel’s cheating and confronted him.

The row led to him drugging her, suffocating her with a Tesco bag and then strangling her at their home in Middlesbrough, Teesside.

When her body was found, Scott, inset, instantly knew Patel had killed her.

Mitesh Patel
A friend often saw Jessica arrive at work covered in bruises

He said: “I was actually saying to the police, ‘He’s done this’.

“And they were saying, ‘Why would you say that?’ And I was saying, ‘I just know for a fact he’s done this’.’”

When the case went to trial, Scott gave evidence in court.

He said: “That’s the type of person that he was… dragging her family through everything.

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“But he was dragging his own family through it all as well.”

Patel was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison and Scott thinks the term means Jessica’s loved ones finally got justice.

He said: “I was glad. But I was more thankful that Jessie’s family as well had got a bit of closure on it and got a bit of justice.”

The case features on true crime series Killer Britain on Saturday at 10pm on Crime+Investigation and on catch-up services.

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247.