A husband who nearly got away with the murder of his fourth wife was caught after bragging about the killing at his local pub.
Derek Potter, 64, throttled wife Lesley, 66, and cruelly pretended to their family she hanged herself in a bedroom at their home.
The carpenter spent weeks pretending to grieve and even arranged his partner’s funeral.
But just one week before the gran’s body was to be cremated – and all evidence destroyed – Potter boasted about the murder at his local pub in Swansea, south Wales, when he was flirting with a younger woman.
He was today jailed for a minimum of 17 years at the city’s crown court after a jury found him guilty of murder.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Soole said: "It was a ferocious attack. I’m sure than in the moment he strangled your wife that you intended to kill her. You knew what you were doing."
The court heard the granddad told fellow builder Natalia Mikhailoea-Kisselevskaia, 32, what he had done before asking her to move in with him.
Natalia told the jury: "We were still on our first pints when he said: ‘I have got to tell you something’.
"He said: ‘I love my wife very much but she was doing my head in so I strangled her’.
"He was saying it with a straight face – no tears in his eyes, no laughter. I thought: ‘Oh my God, he’s done it’."
She tipped off police, who re-investigated the death and recovered Mrs Potter’s body from the chapel.
Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, said: "As a direct result of her report of the confession, police started a full investigation of the death."
"Mr Potter killed his wife by strangling her, using his hands.
"He then tried to cover up what he had done by pretending she had suspended herself with a ligature. He almost got away with that pretence."
A post-mortem examination revealed Mrs Potter had a number of injuries including internal injuries, bruising and "other marks" on her body.
Mrs Potter had suffered 30 rib fractures as well as internal bruising in addition to more than 30 bruises over her neck, face, arms, back, legs and feet.
Pathologists could also determine a difference in signs of "manual strangulation" and hanging.
But Potter denied murder and insisted his spouse had killed herself.
His and Mrs Potter’s daughter Nicole told the jury she found it difficult to come to terms with the death.
The mum told the court: "I feel so numb, I find it very hard to cry.
"I was four months pregnant at the time of her death. At first I was very sad and angry at my mum thinking that she had left me.
"I initially grieved for my mum for three weeks thinking she had killed herself but knowing that something wasn’t right.
"I found it really hard to come to terms with and initially didn’t know what to believe.
"I’m still trying to grieve for her and the fact that she has been murdered.
"My mum was my best friend. She has been cruelly and selfishly been taken from us.
"My mum was always kind and caring. We used to talk about anything and everything.
"Mum had a grandchild on the way that she will never be able to meet. To hold. To cuddle or to love."
Mark Wyeth QC, defending, said Potter was prone to fits of "explosive temper" – and apologised to the family for their distress.
Felicity Galvin, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Derek Potter went to considerable lengths to make Lesley’s death look like suicide.
"However, the forensic evidence presented by the CPS, together with evidence from witnesses, allowed us to build a picture of what really happened that day."
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