A jealous husband who murdered his estranged wife after she left frozen chips out has been jailed for life.
Thomas McCann, 49, strangled his childhood sweetheart Yvonne, 46, after a row about a £3 bag of frozen chips left out of the freezer, Manchester Crown Court heard.
McCann then used a Stanley knife and tree lopper to cut up the body of the mum-of-four, stopping to send and reply to text messages to their children in a ruse pretending their mum was still alive.
He will serve a minimum term of 13 years and four months in jail.
Passing sentence, Alan Conrad QC told McCann: “Your actions after the killing amount to serious aggravating factors.
“The defence suggest a combination of self-interest and panic, but what you did makes a terrible case even more horrific and even more upsetting to those concerned.
“Yvonne McCann was a woman with a great deal to live for and a great deal to look forward to when her life was so cruelly cut short by you.”
During interviews with police McCann told officers he identified as movie cannibal “Hannibal Lecter” as he admitted killing his estranged wife.
He said: “I killed my wife and disposed of her like garbage,” adding he “lost control and could not stop”.
Yvonne had started a new relationship with Robert Thomas a number of years ago after finding out McCann had been unfaithful.
Prosecutor Andrew Smith told the court the couple met as teenagers and had been together for 32 years before McCann killed Yvonne on May 23 last year.
The neighbours heard the couple arguing for a few minutes at around 9am.
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.
“Seemingly the trigger was some used frozen chips.
“During that argument it is now clear that the defendant attacked Yvonne, strangled her to death in the bathroom and thereafter he dismembered her body in the bath.”
McCann then dumped parts of his wife’s body in Reddish Vale Country Park in Stockport, Greater Manchester. They were discovered by dog walkers two days later but only around 50% of her remains were recovered.
He was later captured on camera carrying bin bags to his car and carrying bags while walking towards the park.
Later he was seen throwing eight plastic bags into a skip at Bredbury Recycling Centre, Greater Manchester.
McCann used his wife’s mobile phone, and his own, to send and reply to text messages from their children, saying the pair had had a row and Yvonne had walked out.
Suspicions were raised when McCann attended a barbecue he had been invited to by his son, with their daughter Rachel Lawson discovering her mum’s phone and rings in his jacket pocket.
In a victim impact statement from her children, Rachel said: “We are all really struggling with this. We love our mum very much, we also love our dad.”
Mitigating, defence lawyer 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.”