A SENIOR police officer has welcomed a 15-year jail sentence handed down to Hartlepool man Paul Smart who murdered his common-law wife.
Detective Chief Inspector Anne-Marie Salwey, of Cleveland Police, say the killing of Angela Smeaton, 50, has had a huge impact on all of the family.
Smart, 49, knifed Ms Smeaton to death at their home in Eddleston Walk, Hartlepool, after 29 years together.
The trial at Teesside Crown Court heard there had been a history of domestic incidents involving violence.
DCI Salwey said: “This is a tragic set of circumstances and Angela’s death has had a profound effect on all the family.
“Whilst there has been justice for the family a son has now been left without his mother and his father is serving a lengthy prison sentence.
“I would like emphasis that anyone suffering from domestic abuse should come forward and speak to us about it.
“There is a multi-agency group established to deal specifically with such issues and specially trained officers and partners are on hand to offer on-going support to anyone who may need it.
“This support will continue throughout the entire process of the justice system and beyond.
“No-one needs to think they have to suffer alone.”