Factory worker handed life sentence for murdering ex-wife as children slept in next room

A factory worker has been handed a life sentence for murdering his ex-wife just meters from where their children slept.

Russell Norman James Marsh, of Shotton, Flintshire, was last week found guilty of murdering the mother of his four children Jade Marsh – also known as Jade Ward – last summer.

Jurors heard during the Mold Crown Court trial how Ms Ward was slashed, stabbed and strangled in her own bed in the box room of her Shotton home in Wales. The 27-year-old’s mutilated body was later buried under a pile of clothes.

Marsh, who worked for Bio Energy in Ellesmere Port, was jailed for her murder on Tuesday (April 12). The 29-year-old will now serve a minimum of 25 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

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Ms Ward was found dead by officers after Marsh had subsequently handed himself in at Blacon police station in Cheshire. During his trial, Marsh denied the charge of murder but admitted manslaughter when he gave evidence, Cheshire Livereports.

Following today’s sentencing, Jade’s family paid tribute to her with the following statement: “Jade was a kind and caring daughter who will be deeply missed by everyone. Jade was the sunshine in our lives, she was the glue that held us all together. She was also a devoted mum who would do anything for her children, a much-loved friend, daughter, sister, aunty, niece and granddaughter.

Russell Marsh, who has been jailed for a minimum of 25 years after he murdered his estranged wife, Jade Ward, a week after she ended their relationship

“Jade’s whole life was ahead of her and her death has left a void in all our lives. The family are very thankful to all of Jade’s friends and colleagues for their support, and to North Wales Police for the investigation that has led to today’s conviction .

“We ask that our privacy is respected and that as a family we can quietly grieve and continue to come to terms with this heartbreaking loss.”

Detective Inspector Myfanwy Kirkwood, the deputy Senior Investigating Officer, said: “For Jade’s young life to be cut so cruelly short in such tragic circumstances is beyond comprehension. Jade was much loved by her family and friends and I recognize that no words or verdict will ever bring back this young woman, but I hope today’s outcome will bring a small sense of peace to Jade’s family.

A poignant balloon release takes place on Chevrons Road yards from where Jade Ward, 27, was found dead at a house in Higher Shotton, in North Wales. Photo by Ian Cooper

“They have shown immense strength and courage throughout and I thank them for the way in which they have found the strength to assist my investigation team. On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Jade had spent time with her four children, friends and family and had enjoyed the afternoon and evening.

“She was described as being happy and looking forward to her future. Russell Marsh took her future away by killing her and only he truly knows the reasons for his dreadful actions, leaving their four children without a mother. As a force, North Wales Police is committed to proactively identifying individuals who pose the highest risk of harm to women and girls, and actively manage those individuals to prevent or reduce offending.

“Violent men who harm women and girls should be in no doubt that we are coming after them. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, Live Fear Free can be contacted on 0808 801 0800.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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