Express & Star

Chilling words killer told police after strangling grandmother to death in her own home

The man who strangled his disabled partner at her Wolverhampton flat told police he had used her bank card after her death to withdraw money from her account because "she didn't need it anymore and he did".

Last updated
Matthew Hyde

Matthew Hyde attacked Sara Bateman with a dog lead at the property, in Moseley Court off Willenhall Road, in Moseley, on March 28 this year and then left her in a pool of blood to be found by her son Ryan two days later.

He was then seen on CCTV going over the road from the flat and taking over £200 from a cash machine, then at a garage where he withdrew further funds from her account.

When officers arrived to arrest him three days later he told them: "You're here because I strangled Sara."

Hyde later told them he had taken money out of her account because "she didn't need it anymore" and said he was "regretful and remorseful" about what he had done, showing them the dog lead he used to killer her.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard he told them he had lost his temper after she started calling him names and poking him.

Hyde described to detectives how he had "put the lead around her neck, pulling it tight and squeezing" before they both fell to the floor and then he started pushing higher on her neck.

The coroner's report found she had four fractures on the neck and extensive bruising along with cocaine and methadone in her system, but not enough to have been taken in the immediate hours of her death. While a toxicology report showed Hyde had crack cocaine, heroin and strong lager in his system.

Sara Bateman was found dead in in her flat off Willenhall Road in Moseley

In a victim impact statement, Sara Bateman's son Ryan said he would be mentally and emotionally scarred forever by finding his mother in a pool of blood and having to take her dead body across the living room.

He told the court: "That image of her body and the blood around it will last with me forever and will haunt me for the rest of my life.

"My mother had not had an easy life and had here problems emotionally as well as physically. She was known to speak her mind but she was loving and caring and doted on her family.

"She was vulnerable and Hyde took full advantage of the emotional and financial support she provided for him. For that reason the family will never forgive him.

Her sister Charlotte said Sara was 'more like a mum to her.'

She said: "We were extremely close and I and we are still trying to come to terms with it. She has missed the birth of my daughter and she loved her family.

"The way she was killed was shocking and has made me fearful for the future, I cannot beging to describe the pain f her being murdered by her partner who was supposed to be there to look after her."

Miss Rebecca Wade, prosecuting barrister, said Miss Bateman was a wheelchair user having had a leg amputated eight years ago. At first she used a prosthetic leg but then became wheelchair bound and Hyde had been in a relationship with her for 18 months, later becoming her registered carer.

Miss Wade said: "Both had issues with drugs and alcohol and it could be said the relationship was very up and down with them arguing a lot. Initially the family was happy with the relationship, but then noticed a change after four to six weeks. Sara had alleged he had taken money from here to get beer and then smashed up the television when drunk, but when her son Ryan came round to the flat there was no evidence of it.

"One neighbour reported hearing them argue and the tenant in the flat above spoke of frequent arguments, maybe four or five a week with a lot of shouting and it sounded as though items were being thrown around. But when Ryan visited on March 20 and her daughter Kadi on March 25 they had seemed fine."

She said Miss Bateman had visited a support group for people who were addicted to drugs and alcohol on the afternoon of March 28 and seemed intoxicated and agitated, before leaving.

But later she was seen with Hyde on CCTV at Sainsbury's in Wolverhampton city centre before they left by taxi to go back to her flat around 8.45pm where a witness saw them crossing Willenhall Road. It is said the murder was committed between then and midnight.

She was found by her son Ryan when he called round to check on his mother two days later and could not get in the front door which appeared to be locked. When he eventually gained access through a separate door he found his mother slumped on the floor with a swollen neck. There was blood on the carpet and she felt cold. He laid her on the sofa and phoned 999.

A murder investigation was launched and her killer was found and arrested the following day on March 31.

Hyde was jailed for a minimum life term of 16 years and seven days on Thursday.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.