Mum dumped in wheelie bin after being beaten to death by ex-partner, court told

A disabled mum-of-three’s body was dumped in a suitcase in her own wheelie bin for months after she was murdered by her ex-partner, a court has been told.

Sarah Albone, 38, had not been seen for three months before her today was finally found in the bin behind her home, a jury was told.

She was said to be the victim of a ‘frenzied attack’ by Matthew Waddell, 35, with whom she was in a “toxic relationship”.

Prosecutors said he killed her at the end of November last year at her home in Winston Crescent, Biggleswade, and dumped her body before telling her family she was being treated at a London hospital.

Jurors at Luton Crown Court were also told he sent texts from Sarah’s mobile pretending to be her and sold her belongings.

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In a letter later found in her house, Waddell allegedly wrote: “I stamped on your head so many times.”

Sarah was reported missing by her family on February 21 after she had not been seen since before Christmas.

Waddell was arrested and interviewed by police, but refused to answer any questions.

Her remains were discovered after police searched her home and found the outdoor bin had been taped shut.

Officers found her body, dressed in pyjamas and in the foetal position, in a purple suitcase inside the bin wrapped in “industrial cling film”, jurors heard.

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew told the court the body had been there for “several months” and Waddell’s fingerprints were on the tape holding the bin shut.

He said the attack, which included stamping, kicking, punching and the possible use of a weapon, had taken place in Ms Albone’s bedroom towards the end of November.

He said Sarah, who had multiple sclerosis, had been attacked while getting in or out of her bed.

A letter, allegedly from Waddell, was found at the address in Biggleswade, Beds., which read: “So I stamped on your head so many times I caved your head in, literally.

“But you were still breathing. I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around your head. Blood everywhere. I stared at your chest.”

It went on: “I felt nothing.”

Mr Mulgrew said: “This is a complete and detailed confession to her murder.”

A pathologist in the case said the letter found by police “could fit with the nature of the injuries inflicted on Sarah Albone”.

Her cause of death was ruled as “airway obstruction caused by catastrophic injuries to her head”.

A post-mortem examination found a complex wound to the face and fractures across her body.

In the house, there was evidence that attempts had been made to clean the scene, with carpet and gloves found in the bin along with her body, the court heard.

A large amount of blood had soaked through the carpet and onto the bedroom floorboards. Blood splatter was on the wall near the double socket and radiator.

Following the murder, the prosecution said Waddell had attempted in “a sophisticated manner” to lay false information about Sarah’s whereabouts.

Mr Mulgrew added: “To throw family, friends and the police off the scent he sent text messages from her phone pretending to be her.

“He pretended she was in a hospital in London and did not want to see anyone.

“He withdrew cash from her account and began selling her belongings online.”

CCTV images from a shop in Biggleswade showed Waddell taking money from Sarah’s account, Mr Mulgrew said.

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The court heard the pair met in November 2020 and had a “toxic relationship”.

In January 2021, Ms Albone ended their relationship because she felt that he was emotionally controlling, jurors were told.

They reconnected in April – but in August that year, Sarah suffered a stroke and a month later she ended the relationship once more.

Despite this, Waddell would contact her and turn up at her house, the court heard.

Waddell was arrested for harassment and released on police bail with a condition not to contact her. But he ignored this and continued to visit her house.

In December 2021, Ms Albone reported her ex-partner for assault.

In a statement to police, she had explained his controlling and coercive behaviour and complained that he was watching pornography and speaking to other women.

Her step-sister and a family friend of Waddell’s, Corinne Foster, had not heard from Sarah since November 24 last year, and had been in regular contact before.

Waddell, pretending to be Sarah, responded to Corrine’s texts, the jury was told. He allegedly wrote: “I am ok. I am in hospital in London. I am home in the beginning of March.”

When asked why ‘Sarah’ had not told her about her time in the hospital, the court heard he said: “Sorry babe. A big part is my mental health. They are putting a plan in for me.“

Mr Mulgrew said: “This piqued Corinne Foster’s suspicion. It was because of the way the texts were written. Sarah Albone would never have called her ‘babe’.

“The tone and the grammar did not match.”

Corrine recorded a phone call with Waddell, in which he explained that Sarah’s phone had broken and she could not use the speaker.

He told her: “It has been really surreal – I can’t go along every day without her. It has been hard. She is in the best place possible.”

Wardell denies murder.

The trial continues.

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