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Man pleads guilty to murdering midwife Samantha Eastwood

A man has admitted murdering a midwife after a 'longstanding affair'.

Michael Stirling today (Mon) pleaded guilty to Samantha Eastwood's murder after the missing midwife's body was found in a shallow grave near Caverswall in Staffordshire.

Ms Eastwood, who was 28, was last seen leaving work at Royal Stoke University Hospital on July 27. Her body was found the following week wrapped in a duvet with tape around her eyes and face.

Stirling is the brother-in-law of Ms Eastwood's ex-fiance, John Peake. After Stirling entered his plea, his barrister Charles Miskin QC said it was 'not pre-meditated'.

He said: "This was not a pre-meditated act. The context of the killing was a background of growing tension arising from a longstanding, but not particularly intense affair."

Samantha Eastwood's body was found a week after she was reported missing. Credit: Staffordshire Police
Michael Stirling leaving court in August after being charged with Samantha Eastwood's murder. Credit: PA

Ms Eastwood was last seen leaving work after her night shift at Royal Stoke University Hospital on July 27. There was then an argument between her and Stirling, during which 'matters escalated'.

Mr Miskin added: "There was an argument in that context and that led to him being very angry. After a struggle and while she was on the floor, he put his hands over her throat, her mouth and nose, and as a result of that she died.

"During his intense rage, he originally intended to cause her really serious bodily harm, but matters escalated and he carried out the intention to kill her."

Michael Stirling admitted murder when he appeared via video link at Northampton Crown Court today (Mon). He will be sentenced on December 3rd.