A man has been sentenced to prison for killing his former partner and abandoning her body near a layby in Derbyshire.

A man, Darren Hall, aged 36, has been given a life sentence for the killing of Sarah Henshaw, aged 31, following an argument at her home in Ilkeston. The court heard that Hall attacked Henshaw during the argument, and later drove her body 20 miles before dumping it in woodland outside Chesterfield.

The trial, which lasted for two weeks at Derby Crown Court, concluded on Friday with Hall being found guilty of murder. Evidence presented during the trial suggested that Hall strangled Henshaw to death, possibly using a dressing gown cord. Mr Justice Goss, while passing sentence on Tuesday, stated that the harm and suffering caused by Hall could never be undone by any court sentence.

Hall and Henshaw had a “volatile” relationship and had split up prior to her death. Hall, who had a key to Henshaw’s house, let himself in on the day of the incident. When Henshaw returned home and asked Hall to leave, he refused. A loud bang was heard from the property later on. Henshaw’s body was found six days after the incident, near the layby, with evidence indicating that Hall had used his phone’s torch during that time.

Hall attempted to deceive others by using Henshaw’s phone to send texts, suggesting that she was still alive. He also disposed of her belongings and claimed that she had gone missing after falling down the stairs during an argument. However, no forensic evidence supported this explanation, and Hall did not seek medical help for her injuries.

The court accepted that Hall had been violent towards Henshaw on previous occasions. The sentencing stated that Hall attacked her and most likely strangled her, followed by attempts to cover up his crime.

Henshaw’s family, present throughout the trial, described her as caring and expressed their grief over her loss. They condemned Hall’s actions, describing him as a cruel and selfish man.

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