ESSEX, England — A man in England has been found guilty of burning his wife alive after she found a text to his mistress on a secret phone.
The Daily Mail reports 40-year-old Darren Byrne killed his spouse, Maria Byrne, 35, in the kitchen of their home in February.
Upon discovering the texts, Byrne knocked out Maria, poured white spirit on her and set her on fire. He then tried to make it look like an accident by turning on the gas stove to set the house on fire.
Byrne took an hourlong walk with their dog before returning and making a call to emergency services when he discovered his plan didn’t work.
“She’s dead. She’s burnt, she’s burnt badly,” Byrne is heard saying in the phone call.
Byrne later told police his wife was making him a BLT sandwich while he was out on the walk and he came back to discover the body.
Police were able to disprove his claim when they found the white spirit on her clothing.
In the ruling, the judge told Byrne: “You have been convicted of what can only be described as a wicked and heinous crime.”
“I say nothing further at this stage save that you can expect an exceedingly long sentence,” the judge added.
The couple had two children who were not home during the incident.