Family of murdered Castleford teacher Abi Fisher demand longer sentence for her husband

The parents of a teacher murdered by her husband just days after their baby daughter's christening have described the killing as "pure evil" as they come to terms with raising the couple's child.

Abi Fisher, who was 29, was strangled by her husband Matthew at their home in Castleford, West Yorkshire, in July. He then left their daughter, Sydney, at home alone, drove Abi's body to Brierley in South Yorkshire and dumped her in undergrowth by the side of a road.

Abi's parents, Andrea and Michael Richardson, have now been left to care for their granddaughter, who was born after three rounds of IVF treatment and was just six months-old when Abi was killed.

Mrs Richardson said the little girl continued to pine for her mother, crawling towards photographs of her, kissing her image and searching for signs of her.

"What he's done to us is torture," she said of her son-in-law. "It's pure evil."

After murdering his wife, Fisher – her partner of 13 years – called police on 9 July to say that his wife had vanished. He posted a message on Facebook saying: "Has anyone seen Abi? If you have, can you please let me know or get her to give me a ring."

Matthew Fisher appealed for help on social media after murdering his wife.

A huge search involving hundreds of friends, family, police, fellow teachers and the local community followed.

However, Fisher's lies soon unravelled. After finding Abi's body, police discovered his fingerprints on gaffer tape. CCTV footage showed his car on the move during the time she was missing - when he claimed to be at home asleep.

While searches were being carried out, Mr and Mrs Richardson comforted their son-in-law.

Mrs Richardson said: "If you put a thousand people in a room, they would have been the last two you would have thought this would happen to.

"The fact that he tried to cover it up - we were all crying and he knew exactly where she was.

"Everybody was looking for her and he didn't have compassion for anybody's feelings at all."

Matthew Fisher Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Police later uncovered evidence of marital difficulties on Abi's devices. She had searched the internet for marriage counselling services and had asked the question: "Why does my husband hate me?"

But her parents were oblivious to the problems.

"We don't know what happened that caused this mental break, or whatever it is, and this evilness," Mrs Richardson said.

Fisher later admitted murder and was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 15 years. Mr and Mrs Richardson say that is not enough.

Mrs Richardson said: "He could come out in 15 years. [Sydney's] still a child then.

"I want him in prison until she's an adult and can decide for herself whether she wants to speak to him."

The couple added: "He'll be 44 years old. He's still got half a life in front of him and Abi hasn't got any and it's just so unfair."

Abi Fisher was 29-years-old when she was killed. Credit: Family Handout

They have appealed to the Attorney General's Office for the sentence to be reviewed, with the support of West Yorkshire Police.

A spokesperson for the AGO confirmed that a request had been submitted under the Unduly Lenient Scheme.

The request will be considered within 28 days.

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