Man jailed for wife’s murder

Murderer Rickie La-Touche Nehls

Murderer Rickie La-Touche Nehls

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A HEN-PECKED husband who throttled his Thai wife to death has been convicted of her murder and jailed for life.

Rickie La-Touche Nehls had told a jury he had “flipped” when she allegedly got angry with him and told him she would go mad and make his life hell.

A jury found him guilty of murder by a majority verdict of 10 to one yesterday following a trial at Preston Crown Court and a judge has set the minimum term that he will serve at 12 years.

Pornpilai Srisroy Nehls was found dead in the front bedroom of their home in Maple Crescent, Leigh, last April.

The judge dealing with the case, Mr Justice Royce, told Nehls: “Many people have to endure very difficult relationships, but it doesn’t mean that they can kill their partner.

“The jury, having listened to all the background and all the incidents have come to the conclusion you were not justified in law in taking her life.”

In his evidence, 30-year-old Nehls remembered having his hands around her neck, describing it to the court as if he had been breaking the surface from being underwater. He said his wife - who was known as Boom - was prone to outbursts where she would be verbally aggressive towards him, threatened to stab him and had used violence.

He had admitted manslaughter, but denied murder.

The court was told the alarm was raised in the early hours of April 26 this year when an agitated Nehls knocked on his mother’s door and told her that he had killed his wife.

The couple had originally met in a Bangkok bar around 10 years ago while he was on holiday. They went on to marry in Thailand and she eventually gained a visa to travel to join him in this country in 2005.

Mr John McDermott QC, defending, submitted that despite the jury’s verdict, it was a clear case of “substantial and prolonged provocation”.

The judge told the defendant his wife was only 26 when she died and had the best part of her life stretched out in front of her. It was clear that Nehls had been besotted with her from an early stage.

He said it was also clear she had a temper and in anger on a number of occasions had said she would stab him.

She took a dominant role and the defendant had worked extremely hard to try and provide for her and stayed with her, in spite of the way she treated him. The judge was satisfied there was a lack of pre-meditation to the offence.

After the hearing Senior Investigating Officer Andy Tattersall from Greater Manchester Police said: “This is a tragic case where a young woman’s life has been taken at the hands of her husband.

“Unfortunately, we may never know exactly what happened that morning, but I hope that La-Touche’s sentence is of some small comfort to Pornpilai’s family and friends.

“La-Touche will now also have to live the rest of his life with the awful knowledge that he is responsible for killing his wife.”