In a harrowing case of trust violated, Matthew Hyde, a 41-year-old carer from Willenhall, Walsall, has been condemned to a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years imprisonment. This sentencing comes after Hyde’s chilling crime of strangling Sara Bateman, a disabled mother of four, using a dog lead. This brutal act, which the West Midlands Police described as “inexcusably cruel,” has sent shockwaves through the community.
Sara Bateman’s story is one of profound tragedy and betrayal. An amputee confined to a wheelchair, she was dependent on Hyde, who had been her carer and partner for around 18 months. Hyde, who was receiving benefits to care for her, projected an image of a kind and caring companion. However, this facade concealed a sinister reality. His sickening act in March not only ended Sara’s life but also left an indelible scar on her family.
The grim details of the murder were laid bare in Wolverhampton Crown Court. Following a dispute at Sara’s residence on Willenhall Road on March 28, Hyde launched a vicious attack, culminating in the fatal strangling. Shockingly, he then fled, leaving Sara’s son to discover her body two days later, with the dog lead still wrapped around her neck.
CID Detective Inspector Nick Barnes from West Midlands Police highlighted the deplorable breach of trust by Hyde. He emphasized that Sara, a vulnerable individual, should have felt safe in her own home but instead became a victim of Hyde’s violence. The discovery of Sara’s body by her own son added a layer of cruelty to Hyde’s actions.
The police response was swift. Hyde was quickly identified as a suspect and arrested within hours. Sara’s family, in their heart-wrenching tribute, spoke of the profound loss they felt. Sara, who had undergone a leg amputation eight years prior due to cellulitis, was remembered as a loving mother, sister, and grandmother.
Further darkening Hyde’s profile, the court learned of his previous convictions, including dishonesty, drug possession, and even grievous bodily harm dating back to his teenage years. This criminal history paints a picture of a deeply troubled individual whose actions have irrevocably harmed a family.
This case serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by individuals reliant on the care of others. It underscores the need for vigilance and the importance of safeguarding the well-being of the most vulnerable members of society. As the Bateman family mourns the unimaginable loss of Sara, the hope is that the sentence passed on Hyde brings some measure of solace and closure.