Man found guilty of murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend

Isobel Parker and Matthew Smith.

A man who strangled his pregnant ex-girlfriend to death has been convicted of murder.

Isobel Parker, 24, known as Becky, was found dead at her home in Burnham, Essex, on July 17 last year.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard she had ended her relationship with Matthew Smith, 23, who she had two children with, seven months earlier.

Matthew Smith.

He attacked her at her home in Booth Place after finding out she was pregnant with her new partner, Essex Police said.

Her sister found her lying in the bath with cable ties around her neck.

Detectives later found Smith had strangled her in the kitchen.

Police and paramedics were unable to save Ms Parker and her unborn child.

Smith had denied murder but was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, the force added.

Speaking after the conviction, her new partner, who gave his name only as Shane, said the child would have been a little girl called Charmaine.

He added: "Becky was the best woman I could have ever wished to meet.

"We were so looking forward to the birth of our first child together."

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore said: "This is a sickening murder.Smith could not accept that his relationship with Isobel was over after she had moved on to the extent that she was six months pregnant by a new partner.

"When Smith finally realised there was no chance of reconciliation, he strangled her with plastic cable ties, killing her and her unborn babydaughter.

"Despite overwhelming evidence, Smith chose to put Isobel's family through the ordeal of a court case. The jury has today seen through his lies and convicted him of murder.

"Isobel had everything to live for, but Smith took it all away and destroyed aloving and supportive family in the process."

Police and paramedics were unable to save Ms Parker and her unborn child.

In a statement issued after her death, Ms Parker's parents said: "We have been denied of our beautiful daughter and unborn granddaughter.

"Becky will be greatly missed by the whole family."

Smith will be sentenced on Tuesday.