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  1. ITV Report

Stoke man jailed for murdering midwife Samantha Eastwood

A man has been jailed life with a minimum of 16 years and 10 months for the murder of a midwife from Staffordshire.

Michael Stirling, 32 from Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent admitted murdering Samantha Eastwood, 28 following a "long-standing" affair.

Michael Stirling admitted killing Samantha Credit: Staffordshire Police

Ms Eastwood was reported missing at the end of July and was last seen leaving work at Royal Stoke Hospital at 7.45am on Friday July 27.

Her body was discovered eight days later in a rural area near Caverswall, Staffordshire, in August, wrapped in a duvet and with tape around her eyes and face.

Samantha was last seen leaving Royal Stoke Hospital Credit: Staffordshire Police

Stirling is the brother-in-law of Ms Eastwood's ex-fiancé John Peake.

Detective Inspector Dan Ison, Staffordshire Police said:

At an earlier hearing his defence barrister, Charles Miskin QC, said that Stirling and Ms Eastwood had been having a "longstanding" affair and he killed her in a "struggle" during an argument.

Mr Miskin said that on the afternoon of the killing "various things were said" between the two, "which led to him becoming very angry".

Mr Miskin added: "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."

Jonas Hankin QC, prosecuting, said that two days before the murder Stirling had researched methods on how to "kill oneself".

He added: "There were searches made on a laptop, two days before the killing.

"The subject matter appears to relate to research into methods by which one might kill oneself, in particular using carbon monoxide, or involving suffocation and involving ingestion of poison, specifically anti-freeze."