A jealous, bullying husband who killed his wife in a brutal stabbing has started a life sentence for her murder.

Sukhdev Matharu claimed he could not remember the frenzied attack which left Balbir, his wife of 22 years and the mother of his four children, with horrific injuries.

But after a three week trial a jury took just 91 minutes to convict him of the killing last Thursday.

As the jury's foreman read out the verdict, a hushed cry of "yes" came from family members in the public gallery, with the victim's brother raising clenched fists in triumph.

Matharu looked on impassively as an interpreter explained his fate.

Judge Jonathan Playford labelled the killer as "evil" and "an obscene bully" as he ordered Matharu be jailed for a minimum of 18 years before he can apply for parole.

The jury at Reading Crown Court, Berks, heard during the trial how Matharu had suspected his wife had been having an affair with one of her young colleagues.

He bought spying equipment and physically and sexually abused her in the years leading to her death. Jurors were told the final straw came when Balbir told her bullying, overbearing spouse that she wanted a divorce.

On September 25, 2005, Matharu had gone to hospital complaining of chest pains, accompanied by his wife.

On the journey back to their home, in Chatsworth Crescent, Hounslow, in the early hours of the following day, the couple drove to a secluded car park where Matharu turned on his wife with a knife he had taken from their kitchen.

He stabbed her in the neck, leaving an 11cm by 4cms wide wound, which severed her larynx, an artery and her jugular vein.

He also stabbed her in the chest, piercing her heart, and her leg, stomach and hands.

Giving evidence earlier in the trial, the 48-year-old had cried as he said how much he loved his wife.

He also alleged she had flown at him with a knife and he could remember nothing of the time from then until they were found in the car park of the Copthorne Hotel in Slough, Berks.

Judge Playford told him: "You are, in my judgement, an evil man. In my view you took that knife from your kitchen when, or sometime before, you left for hospital with your wife, as ever, attentive to your needs.

"You hid that knife, either on your person or, more likely, in your car and you took it with the express purpose of using it to butcher a perfectly decent woman.You stabbed her through the heart and just in case that wasn't enough, you cut her throat."

Family members and one female juror broke down in tears as the judge continued in his condemnation of Matharu.

"This was cold-blooded, brutal, pre-meditated murder," Judge Playford said.

"It was the culmination of at least two years of violence and physical and sexual abuse, even torment of your wife - a long-suffering, dutiful wife - and why?

"Anger, jealousy, no doubt, but more than that, I think the realisation by an obscene bully that at long last your wife was going to stand up for herself and resist you and your dishonest bullying, manipulative and controlling ways.

"She was going to get a divorce with all that implied. Thus you would lose your house, your slave and not least the respect that you and your family considered your due."

Richard Barraclough QC, for the defence, told the court there was no mitigation for his client's actions.

The judge ordered Matharu to serve at least 15 years in jail before parole, with a further three years added on for the aggravating features of planning the murder and abusing Balbir for at least two years prior to the murder.

The 289 days already served in custody by the killer will be deducted from the term.

The judge also ordered that should Matharu ever be released from prison, he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.

Following the sentence, Balbir Matharu's tearful brother, Jagdav Singh Bhamra, said outside the courtroom: "Justice has been done.

"Whatever he said in the trial was all lies. My sister has received justice, but we have lost my sister and the children have lost their mother."