Steven and Simone Grainger were childgood sweethearts but had been experiencing marriage troubles
A cocaine-addicted husband who battered his wife with a saucepan and strangled her after she compared their sex life to Doctor Foster has been jailed for 11 years.
Steven Grainger looked straight ahead as a High Court judge told him he had committed a sustained attack on his wife robbing his children of their mother.
The 32-year-old was convicted of the manslaughter of wife Simone during a row at the first home they had shared together and just two years after the teenage sweethearts got married.
The couple had had a volatile relationship sending each other text messages, sometimes abusive, in which Simone told her husband ‘I wish I’d never married you,’ a High Court judge heard.
Littered with expletives Simone would leave the written messages as well as record angry voice messages, where children could be heard playing in the background, to her husband including that marrying him ‘was the worst mistake of my life.’
Mr Justice Knowles, sitting at Reading Crown Court, heard that the messages centered around his drug use leading up to when Simone’s body was found in the first home they had shared.
Grainger, aged 32 years, was accused of hitting her over the head with a saucepan before strangling her in the middle of the night and rolling her in blankets while his daughter slept upstairs.
In the morning he moved her body to the kitchen and conservatory area in a rolled up rug and placed a clothes’ horse on the floor to make sure his daughter did not see the body before he dropped her at a relative’s house.
Simone’s cousin, Karima Dernawl found her body when she visited the house in Windsor Way, Calcot, Reading, Berks., as she was concerned she had not heard from Simone.
Steven Grainger, 32, battered his wife to death and strangled her, Reading Crown Court heard
Grainger denied murdering his wife on November 4 last year and was cleared by the jury who however, convicted him of manslaughter after a three week trial. Ten of the 12 jurors returned to hear the sentencing.
Mr Justice Knowles told Grainger today that he had to take responsibility for his actions.
‘You and you alone are responsible for what you did in the lead up to Simone’s death. Your children have been robbed of their mother.
‘This was a prolonged assault by you intending to cause her some injury. You had ample opportunity to come to your senses and stop. There were scratches on Simone’s neck which were from her nails as she tried to release the pressure around her neck.
‘You would have been very aware that she was struggling to breathe and you carried on your deadly assault.
‘You left her body on the floor for her friend and family to find in the most distressing way.’
The family home in Calcot where Steven Grainger killed his wife Simone on Saturday November 4 in 2017
He told Grainger that his cocaine use had led to their relationship deteriorating and leading to Simone’s abusive texts and threats to stab him.
Karima Dernawl, Simone’s cousin who discovered her body, read a victim impact statement to the court in which she said that the family had lost a mother who cherished her children like no other and was their most prized possession.’
She said: ‘Six months have passed since Simone was ripped away from us in such brutal, senseless circumstances.
‘For this, for what you have done, you will never be forgiven.’
She added that Simone’s family, including her children, had not heard from Grainger since the attack, to offer an explanation or apology for his actions.
‘Our family has been astonished at the support of friends and the community and how people have reached out to us.
‘Three hundred and fifty people came to her funeral and 872 people donated £36,000 pounds to a Just Giving fund for her children which proves how much Simone was loved by so many.’
The pair had been arguing about Steven’s drinking in the months leading up to him killing his wife Simone
Prosecutor Francis FitzGibbon QC, had told the jury: ‘In the early hours of Saturday November 4 last year the defendant killed his wife at their home. He hit her on the head more than once with a hard object, causing serious injury and he then went on to strangle her.
‘Simone died of head injuries and due to being strangled. The defendant admits that he killed her but we say he murdered her and intended to or, at the very least, intended to cause her serious bodily harm.
‘It was unlawful, he had no lawful excuse and no legal defence.’
Simone Grainger said her life was like that of BBC’s Doctor Foster who was having husband troubles in the popular show
Mr FitzGibbon then moved onto the background behind the married couple and the jury heard that they had been an item since they were teenagers but had only just moved in with each other.
He added: ‘The defendant was 32-years-old last November, for most of his life he had lived in and around Reading.
‘They had known each other since they were teenagers, and this is when their relationship began.
‘Simone had also lived in Reading much of her life. She had close extended family in the area and was particularly close to her cousin and her partner, who we will hear more from.
‘They had two children and were married in October 2015 but it was not until the summer of last year that they began to live permanently at the same address. Before that they lived with their respective parents.
‘At one point Simone had her own flat but the defendant continued to live with his mother.
‘It was in July last year they became tenants of a two bedroomed house in Windsor Way, Calcot, Reading.’
Mother-of-two Simone was found dead and wrapped in a carpet by her cousin after Steven left the house
Mrs Grainger had been angry at her husband as he had disappeared on the morning of a family trip to Centre Parcs the previous month, October, and had ruined one of their children’s birthdays.
According to the prosecution, Grainger would disappear on cocaine and alcohol fuelled binges and would stay up late into the night taking cocaine on his own in the family house.
The couple had been together since their teenage years, but only moved into together on July of 2017, just four months before Simone would end up dead.
Texts sent between the couple after the Centre Parcs incident were read to the court, in which Mrs Grainger called her husband ‘f****d in the head’ and said he ‘ruined a family holiday.’
Voicemails left by her were also played to the jury, in which she repeatedly called her spouse a ‘weirdo’, and threatened to ‘run down the M4 and stab him in the face.’
The jury was told the unease between the couple was Grainger’s use of cocaine, which he tried to get by ringin prostitutes after the killing, and ruined a family holiday Simone had planned.
Grainger, of Hatford Road, Southcote, Reading, Berks., admitted killing his wife, but claimed he was acting in self-defence when she came hurtling towards him armed with a pair of scissors after finding him awake on the sofa at 12.30am. He said he and then gone to bed as she lay on the floor swearing at him as he climbed the stairs. He said he then found her dead the next morning.
The jury rejected the murder charge against him but convicted him on tyhe lesser charge of manslaughter.
Simone Grainger was killed in November 2017 after he husband attacked her in their home
Police guard the Grainger home where Steven killed his wife Simone Grainger in 2017