Thursday, August 21, 2008

British used luxury car salesman accused of stabbing wife to death

The body of Sally-Ann Sinclair, 40, was discovered in a pool of blood at the five-bedroom detached house she shared with her husband Alisdair and their twin sons.

Mr Sinclair, 47, was in police custody last night after being arrested on suspicion of murder.
The successful career woman had been working as head of business analysis at mobile phone giant Vodafone.
The family are believed to have been renting the large house just outside the picturesque village of Amport, Hampshire.Mr Sinclair is understood to have traded in second-hand cars from the farmhouse.

The couple married in Basingstoke in 1987 and had twin sons, Alexander and Christopher, in 1998. The nine-year-old boys were yesterday being looked after by an aunt.
Police were called to the address at 10pm on Saturday. They were alerted to the stabbing by ambulance crews, which had arrived some minutes earlier.

Mrs Sinclair was pronounced dead at the scene and her body was taken to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in nearby Winchester, where a post-mortem examination revealed that she died as a result of injuries to her upper body.

A team of forensic officers have begun combing the house for clues and are expected to continue tests at the property well into this week.

Today Mrs Sinclair's mother, Nicolette Alford, said:

"Sally was a clever, bright, hardworking girl who loved her job but more than anything, she loved her children. She was a wonderful mother and worked tirelessly to give her children a happy life. She was the most caring person I have ever known.Even if she was upset or unhappy, she would always think of others first and offer sympathy and support.'

Her stepfather, Barry Alford, added:

"We will remember Sally as being caring, hardworking, intelligent and delightful to know. She was dedicated to her twin boys and sacrificed a lot to keep them happy. She has achieved so much in her life and was about to embark on a new course when her life was cruelly taken from her. We miss her so much."

Mrs Sinclair, an only child, was believed to share the rented property with her husband who stayed at home to care for their 10-year-old twin boys. Before moving to the Amport country estate, the family lived in detached red-brick home in Basingstoke close to Mr Sinclair's parents' home.

Since the move, neighbours said they had lived a secluded life.
'I rarely saw the couple and much of the time the house looked deserted but there are always a lot of cars outside,' one neighbour said.

'My understanding was that she worked for Vodafone and he may have stayed at home to look after the boys. It's a terrible shock to hear what has happened.'

John-James Lloyd, 28, who lives down the road from the house, said: 'I saw an ambulance rush past on Saturday night at about 10pm. I have never actually seen anyone at the house despite all the cars. It's as if the people who live there are very private or always on holiday because the curtains always seem to be drawn.'

Farmer Harry Wells, who also lives down the road from the property, said he had been shocked to see police at the address.

'We came back home just after midnight on Sunday morning and there was a lot of police activity,The family had only been living there about nine months. We drive past the house every day but I rarely saw any sign of life at all.'

Eight cars, understood to be mainly connected to Mr Sinclair's business, including two high-powered rally cars - a Subaru Impreza and a £35,000 Mitsubishi Evo - and a silver van stood in the drive of the secluded property yesterday.

Mrs Sinclair's bosses have paid tribute to Mrs Sinclair.

Matthew Brearley, human resources director of Vodafone UK, said: 'Sally Sinclair was employed by Vodafone as head of business analysis.
'Sally worked for Vodafone from 1994. Sally will be deeply missed by her colleagues here at Vodafone. Our sympathy goes out to Sally's family and friends.'

Mrs Sinclair's mother Nicolette Alford, who lives in Coombe Bissett near Salisbury, declined to comment.

Mr Sinclair's family in Basingstoke also refused to comment.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: 'Detectives investigating the death of a woman in Amport near Andover on Saturday, continue to question a 47-year-old man who has been assisting with enquiries.

'The investigation team from the major crime department are also following up a number of other lines of enquiry to establish the circumstances that led to the woman's death.'

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