Essex Police

Darren Byrne Guilty Of Burning Wife Alive After Cheating Text

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A man has been found guilty of burning his wife alive after she found a text to his mistress.

Darren Byrne, 40, hit Maria Byrne, 35, over the head at their home in Morgan Crescent, Theydon Bois, Essex, England, on February 13.

He then doused her body in white spirit and set her alight before turning on the gas and taking his dog for an hour-long walk in a bid to have the house catch on fire and make the death look like an accident.

When Byrne returned to find his plan had not worked, he called emergency services and said "my wife's dead."

Essex Police

In a panicked phone call since made public, Byrne can be heard saying,

She's dead. She's burnt, she's burnt badly.

When asked by the operator how the incident happened, Byrne pauses and explains,

The stove was on and the frying pan's on the other side of the room. Her tongue's out of her mouth. She's not breathing, and she's hard.

Byrne later told police he had been out walking the dog while his wife made him a BLT sandwich.

This was later disproven when a post-mortem exam revealed white spirit on her clothing.

A bottle of white spirit was also discovered in the garage at their home.

Eerie CCTV footage of Byrne taking his dog for a walk while his wife lay dead at home was shown to the jury.

It was discovered that his wife had found a text message to another woman he was having an affair with on a secret phone the same day she was murdered.

He denied the charged but was found guilty of murder and arson and will be sentenced later this week.

Judge Charles Gratwicke told Byrne he can expect a lengthy custodial sentence. He said,

You have been convicted of what can only be described as a wicked and heinous crime. I say nothing further at this stage save that you can expect an exceedingly long sentence.

Citations: MailOnline