THE wife of a dad-of-two who was stabbed to death with his new lover on New Year’s Eve has said she is “absolutely devastated”.
Martin Griffiths, 48, and Helen Almey, 39, were slain at the home she had previously shared with her headteacher ex Rhys Hancock in Duffield, Derbyshire.
Hancock, 39, was charged with two counts of murder and is due to appear at South Derbyshire Magistrates Court this morning.
Martin split from his wife Claire, 40, earlier in 2019 and yesterday described her heartbreak at losing her husband.
Hours after the tragedy, Mrs Griffiths changed her Facebook picture to one with her and her estranged husband with their son Oliver and daughter Lily in happier times.
When asked about the killings, she said: “Absolutely devastated for me, my children and all involved.”
In the statement, his family added: “Martin was a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle, who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals.
“He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children.
“He will be greatly missed.”
Friends said Helen, who had just left her husband, was “just starting to get her life back together” but had to call 999 over Christmas after being threatened.
The trouble flared again at the New Year as she marked the occasion with her new partner.
Shocked neighbours heard someone yell: “They’re dead! They’re dead! What have you f******g done?” at about 3am.
Absolutely devastated for me, my children and all involved.
Police arrived just over an hour later to find two “fatally injured” people in the three-bedroom home.
Helen bought the home in Duffield with her headteacher husband Rhys in 2014.
Her family paid tribute to her, saying: “We are devastated at the loss of Helen who was a lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person.
“We would like to thank people for allowing us privacy at this most difficult of times.”
Derbyshire Constabulary has confirmed it has referred itself to the IOPC due to the contact between Mrs Hancock and officers before the incident.
Neighbours said Helen had dropped her children at her parents’ house half a mile away for a sleep over so they could go out.
One said: “I saw her on New Year’s Eve packing the kids into the car with their bits and pieces and driving off.
“Can you imagine anything worse for those poor children then waving goodbye to their mummy and then never seeing her again. It is heartbreaking and absolutely devastating and unbelievable.
“We heard Helen and her partner went out for the evening and then returned home, to her marital home where she lived alone with the children.”
Helen and Rhys, who had three children under the age of ten, split several months ago when she ended the relationship.
He was appointed last year as the headteacher at Stanton Vale Special School in nearby Long Eaton.
One local said: “My neighbour heard screaming and shouting coming from the house and outside the property at around 3am.
“My neighbour said he heard someone shouting, ‘They’re dead! They’re dead! What have you f***ing done?’ over and over.”