Essex wife Rebecca Searing, who murdered husband as he slept, 'was good nurse but not a good person'

Rebecca and Paul Searing.
Credit: Essex Police
Rebecca Searing was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 17 years, for murdering her husband while he slept. Credit: Essex Police

The family of a father who was stabbed to death by his wife as he slept say they cannot understand why a trained nurse let her husband die.

Rebecca Searing, 52, of Ryecroft, Harlow, was given a life sentence on Wednesday for the murder of husband Paul Searing, 57, on 12 February.

Searing's chilling 999 call was released by police yesterday, in which she told an operator: "I think I've killed him."

At the sentencing hearing, Paul Searing's family said they had been left bereft by his death, adding of Searing: "She may have been a good nurse, but that doesn’t make her a good person.”

Searing was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court in August of the murder of her husband, and appeared at the same court on Wednesday for sentencing.

In a family victim impact statement, Paul Searing was described as “happy-go-lucky” and “football mad”, being a passionate fan of Tottenham Hotspur.

Paul Searing was stabbed to death by his wife as he lay in bed at their home in Harlow, Essex. Credit: Essex Police

They said: “He was the most gentle, loyal and loving person. We never felt anything other than love, and safety in his presence.

“It’s had a huge impact on his 89-year-old father, who is quite frail and withdrawn as he tries to come to terms with his son [being] gone.

"We cannot understand why a trained and dedicated nurse would leave Paul to die.

“It’s been hard to hear him be painted as an aggressive and violent drunk who would harm Rebecca when we only knew him as loving.

"She may have been a good nurse, but that doesn’t make her a good person.”

In mitigation, Sasha Wass QC told the court that it was clear Searing suffered violence at the hands of her husband, including a time where he was charged with kicking her but she later withdrew her support for the prosecution because she “didn’t want to destroy her relationship”, and emphasised that Searing “did live in fear”.

Police at the scene in Ryecroft in Harlow. Credit: Essex Police

Ms Wass said that Searing “still loves him” and that she herself is still unable to explain what happened during the early hours of that morning.She said: “She is a trained nurse and has worked all her life. Her occupation is to save lives and prevent suffering and not cause it.

"The evidence makes it plain that when she saw the wound she was completely traumatised and unable to function.”Judge Christopher Morgan acknowledged that the relationship between the couple had been “complicated” with acts of violence carried out against her, along with an act of violence against Paul when Rebecca Searing hit him with a pool cue.

He accepted that she was a victim of domestic violence, however, he dismissed any notion that on the night in question Rebecca Searing had been under any threat.He said: “Even if there had been verbal abuse constantly from 2018 to you killing your husband, you weren’t dependent on your husband and you could have left the relationship.

"But I accept that it’s difficult when you claim you still love your husband and still attach yourself emotionally.“Your husband came home shortly before 11pm. You assisted him up to bed. If he had threatened you at that stage when he was upstairs you could have left and sought help, but you didn’t do so.

"You went upstairs shortly after 2.30am and you stabbed him. He presented no threat. You would recognise even if you were in drink that he wasn’t going to present any violent harm to you that evening.”

Judge Morgan sentenced Searing to a minimum of 17 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

  • If you are affected by domestic abuse, help is available - contact Refuge the 24-hour freephone number 0808 2000 247 or visit the Refuge website here.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know