Pharmacist accused of strangling wife

Jessica Patel. Image: Jessica Patel via Facebook.

A British pharmacist being tried for murdering his wife – also a pharmacist – was planning a future in Australia with his doctor boyfriend, a court has heard

British media are reporting on the case of Mitesh Patel, who stands accused of the strangulation murder of his wife, Jessica.

The two pharmacists had met while at university, reports the Independent, and together ran the Roman Road Pharmacy in Linthorpe, North Yorkshire, where Ms Patel was considered to be a “well-liked and well-respected member of the local community,” according to local police.

During jury selection, trial judge Justice James Goss told potential jurors that they should be excused from duty in the case if they had frequented the Roman Road Pharmacy over the last seven years, the Telegraph reports.

They could also be excused if they had used the Grindr dating app during that time.

Justice Goss told them that it was accepted that Mr Patel had been using the app, used primarily by the LGBTQI+ community, to meet men for affairs, unknown to his wife.

A number of life insurance policies, worth £2 million (AUD$3.5 million) had been taken out on Ms Patel, reports Metro.

It is alleged that Mr Patel wanted to use the proceeds of the life insurance to start a new life in Australia with a doctor, whom prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC told the Court that Mr Patel loved.

“He was planning to use the money to start a new life in Australia and that life would be shared with the person who he really loved, one who he regarded as his soul mate— another man,” Mr Campbell told the Court.

As this doctor has moved to Australia, AJP has chosen not to name him.

The two men met in 2013 and after the doctor emigrated, they kept in touch.

By 2013, Mr Patel had conducted internet searches regarding hit men, and how to kill a healthy person who did not have diabetes with insulin.

“Jessica Patel had been killed as a result of pressure being brought to bear on her neck. She was strangled,” Mr Campbell said.

“The prosecution case was that a plastic shopping bag, a Tesco Bag For Life, was used both as a ligature and to suffocate her.”

Insulin in syringes was found among Mr Patel’s belongings, according to police.

Mr Patel has denied the charges and claimed that he found Ms Patel badly injured in a burglary at their Linthorpe home, after he returned from a walk.

At the time of her murder Ms Patel’s family released a statement saying that she was “kind-hearted, gentle and selfless” and “completely dedicated” to her family. One local told the Gazette Live that she “knew you by name when you went in [to the pharmacy]”.

The pharmacy is now permanently closed.

The trial continues.

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