Lover guilty of helping murderer hide wife's body
Published 14/07/2011 | 05:00
A woman has been found guilty of helping her "callous and wicked" lover hide his dead wife's body under the floorboards.
Harry Jarvis (61), murdered his wife Carol (47), wrapped her in a blanket with parcel tape and hid the body beneath their flat in Bathgate, West Lothian, in September 2009.
His girlfriend, Rita Heyster (57), was found guilty yesterday of helping him to hide the body to cover up the crime.
Jarvis then repeatedly lied to police and family, claiming the mother of four was elsewhere to make them think she was still alive.
At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Heyster was convicted of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by helping him dispose of the body of his wife of 27 years. She had earlier been cleared of murdering Mrs Jarvis.
Unemployed Jarvis was found guilty at the same court of murder "by means unknown" and attempting to defeat the ends of justice by hiding his wife's body and lying about her whereabouts.
He was convicted on March 2 and sentenced three weeks later but the case could not be reported until proceedings against Heyster ended.
Judge Lord Bracadale ordered Jarvis to serve at least 15 years behind bars before he can be considered for release.
Passing sentence on March 30, he branded the killer's actions "callous and wicked".
Jarvis, who had worked as an electrical engineer and as a bus driver, told a series of lies to relatives to hide the fact his wife was missing between September 11 and 18 2009.
His lies included saying she was visiting her GP or that she was asleep. On one occasion, he said she was at the pub with her two sons.
He told police officers and his family that his wife was in Dundee and that he was planning to go there to meet her and live at a new house.