Mitesh Patel’s sperm reduction pills, cheating, humiliation, isolation and violence towards his wife – an extensive look into the murder case that shocked Teesside
A sad string of callous and cruel abuse led to the brutal murder of a loving pharmacist.
Jessica Patel was just 34 when her life was ended by her cheating husband Mitesh Patel in May 2018.
And a review into her death has shone a light on the years of physical assaults, controlling behaviour and suffering she faced before her evil husband strangled her with a Tesco bag for life.
Work is underway to learn lessons from Jessica’s murder – including more work to examine the signs of “honour based violence”, a review of the help offered to “diverse communities”, and a recommendation urging the Home Office to look at how small family-owned businesses can deal with signs of domestic abuse.
A 74-page domestic homicide review by the Middlesbrough Community Safety Partnership was published on Monday with the help of Jessica’s family – offering detailed insight into what can be done to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Mitesh Patel had plotted to murder Jessica, claim £2m from a raft of insurance policies and start a new life with his gay lover in Australia.
But the review reported how Jessica had suffered years of domestic abuse at the hands of Mitesh both in the home and at work.
String of long-term domestic abuse
Jessica’s family listed a string of examples of domestic abuse and “controlling and coercive behaviour” which were highlighted in the probe.
They included how Jessica had told her younger sister how Mitesh had “hit her in the car” in disagreements over Jessica being stopped from seeing more of her dying grandfather.
Another example told how Jessica “stopped speaking up about things” and “appeared scared” when it came to committing to attending family events.
Both Jessica and Mitesh were registered with the same GP practice in Middlesbrough and both were well-known to the surgery as their pharmacy was closely linked.
The probe found Mitesh’s behaviour remained “hidden from agencies” and it was only when Mitesh killed Jessica sparking a police investigation that the jigsaw of “appalling behaviour” was revealed from the testimony of colleagues and family.
Jessica visited her GP and told how she was suffering anxiety and was under pressure because she could not conceive in April 2016 which led to a referral for cognitive therapy.
But the homicide review found that the GP not asking questions about Jessica’s potential domestic abuse was a “missed opportunity” to uncover what was going on.
The probe also detailed how Mitesh had intimate relationships with a number of men during the time he was married to Jessica.
Jessica was born into a large Hindu community in Leeds and was described by her family as being a quiet, innocent and “good girl” who wouldn’t hurt anyone.
Both Jessica and Mitesh knew each other as children before meeting again when they were older.
Among the lessons from the tragedy, the independent review found Jessica’s murder was an “honour killing” given wider “cultural beliefs about sexuality” and was an example of something that might have been perceived as adultery and immoral behaviour within the Hindu community.
The report added: “Divorce on the grounds that Mitesh was gay could never have been a reason for him to end his marriage.
“Consequently, the only way that Mitesh may have felt able to leave the marriage with honour was by killing Jessica.
“Jessica did nothing that was, or might be perceived, as dishonourable.
“However, her death at the hands of Mitesh should be considered an honour killing because Mitesh killed her to try and protect his own honour.”