Mitesh Patel had regular sexual encounters with men he met on the dating app Grindr. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Pharmacist Mitesh Patel strangled his wife Jessica with a plastic bag so that he could start a new life with his gay lover, a court has heard.

According to reports, Patel stood to gain £2million from Jessica’s death and he wanted to start a new life with his partner in Australia.

Teesside Crown Court was told that on the night Jessica was killed Patel was found with three scratches on his neck.

Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting, said Patel claimed he came in from a walk in the Linthorpe area of Middlesbrough to find his house had been burgled. Jessica’s wrists were bound with duct tape.

Campbell said: “Jessica Patel had been killed as a result of pressure being brought to bear on her neck. She was strangled. The prosecution case was that a plastic shopping bag, ironically a Tesco Bag For Life, was used both as a ligature and to suffocate her.”

Patel then stage-managed the scene by ransacking the house. He also tried to hide the hard drive of the house CCTV system in a suitcase of clothes under a mattress. He called 999 nearly an hour after he murdered his wife, said Campbell.

The court also heard that Patel was obsessed with the idea of having a baby with Jessica and he had made up lies that the couple were parents of twins.

Patel lied to several people that the couple already had children, including his personal trainer Andy Gray.

Campbell told jurors: “Mitesh Patel told Andy Gray that he and Jessica had eight month old twins. He told his trainer the twins were conceived using IVF and that Jessica had just returned to work.

“He told him their names were Aaron and Zara and that he was in the habit of making hand prints of the twins every month and was recording a song for their first birthday, that song being ‘You Are My Sunshine.’

Cambell added to jurors: “You will be becoming familiar with the lies and fantasies told by Mitesh Patel.”

Patel and Jessica were childhood friends and they went through university together in Leicester and Manchester and married in Leeds in 2009. But Patel was in a relationship with his doctor lover, Amit, for almost all of their marriage.

Although Jessica was aware of their relationship, she wanted their marriage to work.
She had reportedly told her uncle Sharad about the trouble in their marriage during a family holiday in Spain in 2012.

Sharad said: “Jessica was not happy because she and Mitesh were having problems, she said their relationship was not moving forward. She said that he would come home from work and go into another room and talk on the phone to a male called Amit, a doctor who now lived in Australia.

“This was happening every night and he would spend hours talking to him. She said she and Mitesh had not had sex for 10 months.”

Patel is also said to have had regular sexual encounters with men he met on Grindr, a dating app.

Patel denies murder. The trial, expected to last around a month, continues.

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