Police boss issues statement over murder of disabled Willenhall grandmother as new image released
A police boss has described the actions of a killer jailed for life over the murder of his disabled partner as "inexcusably cruel" – as a new picture of the Willenhall grandmother was today released.
Sara Bateman, who had one leg and was a wheelchair user, was found in her flat in Moseley Court, off Willenhall Road, in Willenhall by her devastated son on March 30.
Her killer, Matthew Hyde, of Wellington Place, Willenhall, was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to her murder in March.
He has been jailed for a minimum life term of 16 years and seven days.
Hyde, 41, who was in a relationship with Sara, moved into her home shortly after meeting her and became her paid carer.
However, following an argument with Sara on March 28 of this year, Hyde launched a brutal attack against the victim, strangling her to death.
He fled the scene and was captured on CCTV withdrawing money from her account, explaining to police that he did so because she "didn't need it anymore".
The 50-year-old's body was discovered by her son two days later.
She had injuries to her face, bruising and a dog lead around her neck.
Det Insp Nick Barnes from the West Midlands Police Criminal Investigation Department has described the killer's actions as "inexcusably cruel".
He said: "Sara was a vulnerable lady whose life was impacted by disability. Hyde had volunteered himself as her carer, only to abuse that trust in the most deplorable way, viciously attacking her in what should have been the safety of her own home.
"Sara ought to have felt secure in Hyde’s company. Instead, she fell victim to his violence. The manner in which Hyde fled the scene knowing that Sara would be found by her own son is inexcusably cruel.
"He took her life and left her family devastated. Although no sentence will reduce their pain, we hope that the justice served against Hyde will allow Sara’s family to move forward."
Speaking after Hyde's arrest, the victim's family paid tribute to a "loving" mum, sister and grandmother.
They said: "Nothing breaks our hearts more than having a world that no longer has her in it."