A Nigerian man, Conrad Irabor Martin Iyayi, who stabbed his wife to death in their home has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the UK.
The 46-year-old stabbed his wife, Katy Harris., seven times in the chest at their home in Oak Crescent, Littleover, Derby, in the early hours of 6 February 2022.
Iyayi called the police to the house in Oak Crescent shortly before 7.30am that fateful day, where he told the call handler that he had murdered his wife, Katy Harris.
After his arrest, Iyayi then told officers that he could not remember what had happened after he had taken drugs he purchased on the dark web.
Iyayi was charged with murder on 8 February and continued to deny that he had murdered his wife.
However, just two days into his trial at Derby Crown Court he admitted his guilt.
On Friday, August 18, 2023, he was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 18 years before he can be considered for release.
Detective Inspector Steve Shaw said: “Katy Harris was a much-loved mother, daughter, friend and teacher. Her death was a tragic loss of life for her loved ones, as well as the hundreds of students whose lives she had touched through her work as a teacher.
“Our thoughts today are with Katy’s family, in particular her three children who she loved so much. Their dignity and support for this investigation has been exemplary and I cannot thank them enough for the way they have conducted themselves throughout what has been an incredibly difficult 18 months.
“Conrad Iyayi deprived Katy of what should have been a long and happy life with her family and friends – and has provided no credible explanation as to what happened in that house on the night in question.
“I hope that seeing Iyayi behind bars will give all those affected the space to now start rebuilding their lives and allow them to focus on the memories of Katy – who will live on in the hearts of all she knew.”
The court heard Ms Harris worked as an art teacher at St Clare’s School in Mickleover and had probably been sleeping in the spare room of the house due to her husband’s snoring, with the couple’s 11-year-old son also at home in his bedroom.
Gordon Aspden KC, prosecuting, said the son had described the evening as “entirely normal” when interviewed by police.
Iyayi watched Match of the Day with his son on the night of 5 February, and CCTV from a neighbour showed him walking his dog just before 03:00 GMT the following morning.
The coat he was seen wearing on the CCTV footage showed bloodstains, later found to contain his wife’s DNA, which the court heard suggested the attack happened before then.
Later that morning, the defendant called police from a nearby payphone saying he believed he had killed his wife, and police found her body in a pool of blood in the kitchen.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, and after Iyayi was arrested, police woke their son and took him away from the home.
Mr Aspden said a post-mortem examination found Ms Harris died from stab wounds to her chest, while cuts to her hand suggested she was “literally fighting for her life” during part of the attack.
Mr Aspden said: “He [Iyayi] made a number of unsolicited comments concerning Katy’s death.
He said it all felt like a dream and the situation, in his words, was ‘crazy.
His demeanour was remarkably calm and controlled given the dreadful circumstances of what had happened.
He said Iyayi had given a “demonstrably untrue” account to police that methadone he had bought off the dark web had had an unanticipated effect, that led him to believe he had taken a “mind-altering” hallucinogenic and had murdered his wife in a dream, only to discover her body hours later.
But later tests showed Iyayi had taken prescription methadone, as well as prescribed anti-depressants and painkillers, rather than an unknown substance as he had claimed.
The defendant had “a substantial number of previous convictions for a wide variety of offences”, he added.
In a victim impact statement, the couple’s son said he wanted nothing to do with his father.
He’s taken the most important person from me,” the statement said.
“It’s really upsetting that I won’t get to make any more memories with my mum,”
Ms Harris’ adult daughter Phoebe Harris, who read out a statement on behalf of her and her sister Alexa, said their mother’s murder had left them “devastated and traumatised”, and thanked people for supporting the family.
“We don’t see him as a human being as anyone with any humanity could not take someone else’s life in the way that he did,” she said.
“He is sinister, sadistic, and manipulative. We feel betrayed,”
“We cannot comprehend how one person has affected so many people’s lives,”
“Our mum was the light in the lives of so many people, whereas he encapsulates darkness.”
Iyayi’s barrister, Amjad Malik KC, said the defendant “destroyed a woman that he loved”, and who had supported him through addiction issues for “a reason that he cannot explain and a reason that will always haunt him.
Sentencing, Judge Shaun Smith KC said Ms Harris “would have been conscious for at least part of the attack”, adding Iyayi had written to him accepting responsibility and saying he did not know why the murder happened.
“It was a brutal, frenzied killing, and a needless death,” he said.
“What you did in the early hours of that morning ended the life of a much-loved woman, and emptied the lives of many others.”