A husband murdered his estranged wife and chopped up her body after she accidentally defrosted frozen chips.
Thomas McCann, 49, strangled and dismembered childhood sweetheart Yvonne, 46, before dumping her body parts in a tip and country park, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Following her death, McCann used his wife’s mobile phone to message family and friends to suggest she was still alive, and it wasn’t until one of their children discovered the phone in his jacket pocket that suspicions were raised.
Parts of her body were found in bin bags by dog walkers in Reddish Vale park, Stockport, Greater Manchester, in May last year.
McCann, who likened himself to infamous movie cannibal Hannibal Lecter, pleaded guilty to Yvonne’s murder and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Andrew Smith told Manchester Crown Court how a neighbour heard the couple arguing for a few minutes around 9am on May 23.
Mr Smith said: “She (the neighbour) messaged Yvonne asking if she was okay and Yvonne responded saying it was over a bag of frozen chips.
“Very shortly after it is suggested McCann began operating her phone.”
Yvonne and McCann had both been invited to a barbecue by their son, but the killer said he would be coming on his own because the couple had an argument and Yvonne “walked out”.
Prosecutors claim McCann backed this up by sending a message from his wife’s phone saying: “OK… your dad is a mong, he might be on his own.”
He was not seen leaving the house between 10.40am and 3.42pm, when prosecutors assert he was “engaged in dismembering her body”.
McCann continued using his wife’s phone while he even fabricated a conversation where he ‘apologised’ for the frozen chips row.
Prosecutors say he went to the barbecue before leaving at 11pm. He had to be helped home by his daughter and son due to his drunken state when daughter Rachel found her mum’s phone and rings in his jacket pocket.
McCann reported her missing before bags of her body parts were found two days later.
It was reported that only 50% of Yvonne’s body was ever found.
McCann admitted her murder as was interviewed four times by the police where he told them about an argument regarding frozen chips being left out of the freezer.
He told officers he identified himself as ‘Hannibal Lecter’ and told officers he had been joined by ‘a little friend’ overnight.
In a prepared statement McCann said: “I killed my wife and disposed of her in the garbage. I’m so so sorry to all my children.”
The couple had been childhood sweethearts and were married for 24 years, with three children all in their 20s.
Yvonne had started a new relationship with a man a number of years ago after discovering McCann had been unfaithful, prosecutors said.
Their daughter Rachel Lawson said: “She was a full-time mum, a good mum, she was always buying us things and wanted the best for us.
“It hasn’t really sunk in, I loved my mum very much and I also love my dad.”
Yvonne’s partner Robert Thomas said: “I feel very angry towards Thomas, he has torn the family apart.
“She was a wonderful, loving mother to all of her children and a doting grandma to two grandchildren.”
Mitigating in McCann’s defence Louise Blackwell QC said: “This blew up over a totally unnecessary, small and domestic detail.
“Anybody looking at the messages and the things said would realise this was never going to be a success for covering up his involvement.
“It was totally unbelievable and done out of blind panic. The defendant’s own childhood was extreme, he was abused in every way.”