Birkenhead man jailed for more than 15 years for ‘brutal murder’ of his wife in her home

Karen Wheeler was killed in her own home by her husband.

A Wirral man has been jailed for more than 15 years for the murder of his wife in their Birkenhead home.

Police officers were called to a flat in Vittoria Court, on Vittoria Close, on the evening of Thursday, May 12, to a report of concern for the welfare of 62 year-old Karen Wheeler.

Paramedics attended but Mrs Wheeler was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was given as blunt force trauma.

Mark Wheeler, 52, of Vittoria Close was charged with her murder and pleaded guilty at a court hearing earlier this year. Today, at Liverpool Crown Court, he was sentenced to 15 years and 10 months.

Detective Inspector Phil Ryan said: “This was a truly shocking and brutal assault which led to the tragic death of Karen Wheeler in her own home.

“Tragically it was her son David who found his mother dead and locked Wheeler in the house until police arrived. Nobody can begin to understand the impact the circumstances and fact of her sudden death has had on her family and friends.”

‘Brutally murdered my mum’

In his personal satement to the court, Mrs Wheelers son, David Bradley, said he saw Mr Wheeler covered in blood when he knocked on the door and knew his mum was dead.

A general view of Vittoria Close, Birkenhead. Image: Google

“The last time I saw my mum alive was at the bus stop after I finished work and I was walking my dog,” the statement read. “She asked me if I wanted to see her to catch up as she had been working a lot recently.

“I went down to meet her on 11th May. There was no answer and her phone was turned off. I now know that Mark had already brutally murdered my mum.

“When I attended the next day and the door eventually opened I saw Mark covered in blood and I knew mum was gone. To see my mum lay there like that is an image that I will never get out of my head and is there when I close my eyes.

“He [Mark] has changed my understanding of the world around me and therefore he has changed me. My mum was the kindest, loveliest person I ever met and now I doubt I’ll trust another person thanks to him.”