A nurse who killed her husband while he lay in bed at their home has been jailed for at least 17 years.

Rebecca Searing stabbed 57 year-old Paul while he lay in bed at their home in Ryecroft, Harlow shortly before 2.15am on February 12, a court heard.

After attacking him, the 52 year-old called the ambulance service, admitted what she had done, and requested help from paramedics.

When officers attended and spoke to her about what happened, they said she seemingly admitted attacking Paul, stating “I can’t believe I’ve just done this” and “I will go down for this”.

Paul was taken to hospital but, sadly, despite the best efforts of medical professionals he later died.

A blood stained knife was found at the address and Rebecca Searing was later charged with Paul’s murder.

During her trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, the jury heard she had asked one officer while in custody “I am gonna get 25 years for this, aren’t I?”.

The jury returned a guilty verdict on August 25.

At the same court on Wednesday, September 7, she was sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years before she can apply for parole.

The judge said the defendant’s husband had “presented no threat” and “in all probability he was asleep”.

He said Searing had suggested that her husband called her “worthless” or “useless”.

Judge Christopher Morgan said: “At whatever stage, those words were no justification for what you were to do later on.”

Prosecutor Allan Compton QC read a statement from Mr Searing’s sister Karen Krokou, in which she said he had “worked hard as a cabinet maker and took pride in his work”.

She described him as “happy go lucky and football mad, he loved Tottenham Hotspur”.

Mr Searing, who had children, was an “exceptionally loyal man, caring, warm and kind”, Ms Krokou said.

She described the defendant’s 999 call as “chilling”, adding: “She may have been a good nurse but that doesn’t make her a good person.”

Sasha Wass QC, mitigating, said the married couple had a “complex relationship”.

She said: “She loved him despite the complexity of that relationship and she still loves him.”

Ms Wass said it was “a relationship that involved regular domestic violence”.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Lydia George said: “My thoughts are with the family and loved ones at this time.

“While this does not bring Paul back, I hope that today’s sentence can provide his family with some justice and they can begin to re-build their lives.

“Rebecca Searing took Paul’s life in a moment of extreme violence.

“This case highlights how quickly incidents of domestic violence can escalate and how serious the consequences can be.

“Rebecca Searing now has a significant amount of time in prison to reflect on her actions.”