murders - martin griffiths found stabbed to death

A man has admitted to the New Year’s Day murders of his ex-wife and her new partner from South Cheshire.

Rhys Hancock appeared at Derby Crown Court today (July 6) via videolink, where he pleaded guilty to the murder of Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths.

Mr Griffiths (pictured), 48, a former Shavington High pupil who grew up in Wistaston, was found dead alongside Helen, 39, at her home in New Zealand Lane, Duffield, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

They had suffered fatal stab wounds.

Former headteacher Rhys Hancock, 40, of Portland Street, Etwall, was arrested at the scene and later charged with two counts of murder.

He will be sentenced at the same court at a later date.

After leaving Shavington High in 1988, Mr Griffiths, who lived in Derby at the time of his death, studied A levels at South Cheshire College and later at Chester Art School.

helen hancock - stabbed to death

Helen Hancock

He had recently met Helen and they were celebrating New Year’s Eve together.

BBC reports that an earlier inquest found both victims had suffered multiple stab wounds and there was a blunt trauma injury to Ms Hancock’s right eye.

A previous court hearing was told Hancock had found out about his wife’s new relationship on 26 December, BBC report added.

Mr Griffiths had already died but paramedics battled for more than 15 minutes to resuscitate Ms Hancock before she was pronounced dead.

At the time of his death, Mr Griffiths’ family issued a tribute, saying: “Martin was a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle, who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals.

“He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children.

“He will be greatly missed. We would also like to ask that people respect our privacy and allow us space to grieve as we attempt to come to terms with his death.”

The case is being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) as there had been contact between Derbyshire Police and Ms Hancock prior to the murders related to “domestic incidents”.

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