The brutal murder of Anne Searle in her home in The Brickfields, Stowmarket, Suffolk, just before 10.30 p.m. on December 30, 2017, is covered in Peacock’s “Meet, Marry, Murder: Searle.” Former Suffolk County Council member and UK Independence Party (UKIP) general election candidate Stephen Anthony Searle instantly admitted to the murder. We’ve got your back if you want to know more about the case, such as why Stephen killed his wife and what happened to him. So let’s get started, shall we?
Who Is Stephen Searle?
When Stephen Anthony Searle, a former member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) on the Suffolk County Council, was found guilty in December 2017 of the savage murder of his wife, Anne Searle, his life took a dark turn. The program claims that Stephen and Anne got hitched in 1972 while still in their teen years. Jessica Anne, who later went by Anne, was a Scottish woman who resided in Arbroath, Scotland. Anne was originally from Scotland. She and her family relocated to Glasgow, where she later met Stephen, a Royal Marine.
Stephen served in the Royal Marines from 1963 to 1993, a period of three decades. The family, which included their three boys Gary, Stephen, and Christopher, also relocated frequently, as military families frequently do. The Searles moved to Suffolk after their time in the service, acquired the Stag Tavern, and started working as bartenders. Stephen appeared to have successfully transitioned from the military to civilian life because he also performed other professions on the side. He had a darker side, though, which the show revealed by immersing the audience in the Searle household.
Stephen entered politics when he was elected to the UKIP Suffolk County Council for Stowmarket South in May 2013. His time in office, however, was brief because, in May 2017, he was defeated by Nick Gowrley, the head of the Conservative council. In addition, he ran for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich in the 2017 General Election as the UKIP candidate. Of the five candidates, he garnered the fewest votes. Therefore, it came as a shock when he fatally strangled his wife, Anne, at their Stowmarket home on December 30, 2017.
He called the emergency services as soon as the crime was committed and confessed, saying, “I’ve just killed my wife,” while maintaining a casual demeanor. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they were unable to revive Anne and declared her dead. The next day’s post-mortem examination revealed that Anne’s cause of death was “compression of the neck.” She would have lost consciousness just seconds after having pressure put on her neck, according to a forensic pathologist, and would have passed away minutes later.
Court documents claim that Stephen brutally murdered Anne by using chokeholds he learned about during his military training. On January 2, 2018, he was accused of murder and placed under arrest at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court. The case was promptly transferred to the Crown Court due to its seriousness. Witnesses and acquaintances gave horrifying details of Stephen’s earlier abuse of his wife. Stephen allegedly threatened Anne with a gun in a tavern they ran in the late 1990s, according to a former partner of one of his kids.
Where Is Stephen Searle Now?
This story was supported by another witness, who said that he had pointed the gun at Anne and possibly even fired a shot during a marital dispute. Additionally, she claimed that her husband’s activities were to blame for the bruises on her arms that her coworkers had noticed in 2017. The length of their marriage, however, as a justification for not starting anew, prevented Anne from pressing charges. The relationship between the Searles was said to have been tumultuous due to Anne’s reported drinking problem and Stephen’s temper issues.
In the days preceding Anne’s death, Stephen allegedly threatened to kill her and got into violent altercations with her, according to Victoria Searle, the wife of one of the couple’s sons. Anne had left a mysterious note on Facebook a few days before her untimely demise, reading, “Happy Christmas… I’m hoping to still be around in 2018. We’ll find out. Her ominous Facebook message acted as a foreboding precursor to the impending disaster, even though the authorities disregarded it as being related to the murder.
The mother of his grandson and the partner of his son Gary, Anastasia Pomiateeva, and Stephen had an adulterous relationship before the murder. The show claims that in 2005, Stephen met her while working at a nearby bowling alley. He pursued her despite her acknowledging her interest in his son. The relationship allegedly started in March 2017 when he allegedly made a sexual advance on Anastasia within the Suffolk County Council headquarters. He sent obscene photos and pursued a sexual relationship obstinately.
The family became aware of their relationship within a month after it started, which was in April 2017. Stephen allegedly killed his wife because he didn’t want to pay a sizable divorce payment, according to the prosecution. In July 2018, his murder trial was held at Ipswich Crown Court. He asserted that he had acted in self-defense and that Anne had tried to stab him with a steak knife in his defense. On July 17, 2018, after three and a half hours of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty judgment. Stephen was given a life sentence with a 14-year minimum term.
Bill Mountford, a former leader of the UK Independence Party, expressed sympathy for both Stephen and his murdered wife, prompting fire from groups like SafeLives, which fight against domestic violence. Bill Mountford, a former politician, told BBC Suffolk after the verdict that Stephen was still “a friend” and that “these things happen.” “I still regard Stephen as fundamentally a decent man who has found himself in situations outside of his control,” he continued. Although I don’t in any way support it, I was quite saddened to learn of his conviction.