A KILLER husband who broke into his estranged wife’s home and stabbed her in her bed has been jailed for life.

Raymond Hoadley, 62, was found guilty of the murder of Jackie Hoadley, 58, in Eastbourne.

The body of the prominent disability rights campaigner was found inside her £300,000 home in Broad Oak Close in July last year.

Hoadley had driven his distinctive van to a road nearby, vaulted over a wheelie bin and gained access to the property late at night as Jackie slept.

The Argus: The scene of the murder in Broad Oak Close, EastbourneThe scene of the murder in Broad Oak Close, Eastbourne

At Lewes Crown Court, His Honour Judge Jeremy Gold QC found that Hoadley’s desire to get his hands on the family savings was one of the reasons for the killing, and said the killer must serve at least 26 years before he can be considered for parole.

“Money-obsessed” Hoadley had amassed as much as £1 million along with Jackie, but feared losing out on savings and investments after their split.

Prosecutors say money was a motive for Hoadley in the killing, and said it showed signs of it being premeditated.

Jackie’s sister Sarah Jones told the court that for someone to kill a loved-one over finances was “appalling and abhorrent”.

The Argus: Jackie Hoadley pictured with estranged husband Raymond HoadleyJackie Hoadley pictured with estranged husband Raymond Hoadley

Hoadley’s defence team argued it was not a premeditated murder and said there were a “myriad” of reasons why he had killed Jackie, including him being “mentally unstable” and losing his family.

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Caroline Carberry, QC prosecuting, said: “This murder, at least in part, was a murder for gain. There is clearly evidence that there was a motive in this case, relating to financial gain.

“The motive in this case cannot be fully known. This defendant broke in late at night when he knew his wife would be at her most vulnerable, while she was asleep.

“There is a significant degree of premeditation, this was not an impulsive act. This defendant had murder on his mind for some time.”

The Argus: Police forensics at the scene in EastbournePolice forensics at the scene in Eastbourne

Ms Carberry said this should mean Hoadley should serve a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years.

But George Carter-Stephenson QC, defending, said the motive was not clear, and said Hoadley had “suffered some kind of breakdown”. He had previously tried to take his own life three times and was in “emotional turmoil”.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said the minimum term should be 15 years.

“This is far from being premeditated murder, this is not something done by design,” he argued.

The Argus: Raymond Hoadley committed the 'brutal and premeditated' murder of Jackie Hoadley in EastbourneRaymond Hoadley committed the 'brutal and premeditated' murder of Jackie Hoadley in Eastbourne

But Judge Jeremy Gold QC said there had been an “explosion of violence” and told Hoadley: “I have to sentence you for the brutal and premeditated murder of your wife.You gained entry to her home while she was asleep in bed and stabbed her repeatedly.

“She sustained defensive injuries which clearly illustrate that she was awake during at least part of the attack. Having committed this dreadful murder, you returned home and carried on life as normal.

"You had carefully planned the explanation that you would give to the police when suspicion fell upon you (as it inevitably would) and you spun a web of lies when interviewed in an attempt to avoid liability for your actions.

"I am satisfied that this offence is properly classified as a murder for gain. There was clear evidence before the jury of your obsession with money and, just a few days before you killed Jackie, you persuaded her to sign a document which ensured that you would benefit financially to a very significant extent in the event of her death.”

Hoadley, of Willowfield Road, Eastbourne, originally from Dartford, is now behind bars for the murder.