A man who murdered his wife and left their young children to find her body has been told he faces life in jail for the “savage” killing.
Turk Erhan Havaleoglu, 36, stabbed Leighanne Cameron, 29, ten times in the neck and twice in the back after spending the day looking after their children in Mid Calder, near Livingston, on 28 October, 2015.
He then fled and left her dying on the floor – while their four-year-old daughter, Erin, and 18-month-old son, Jamie, were sleeping upstairs.
Havaleoglu drove to Edinburgh via a back road where police believe he ditched the murder weapon and clothes he was wearing – which have never been found. But a speck of her blood was found on his shoes and some was found on the front door of his flat – where she had never been.
Her body was found by her boyfriend, Philip Kilkenny, who, the court heard, she had been cheating on Havaleoglu with for six months before their split.
Kilkenny, 42, found Leighanne’s body lying in a pool of blood and called the police – telling them Havaleoglu had “told her she’d never get to love another man” – resulting in Havaleoglu’s arrest.
Havaleoglu denied murdering his estranged wife five months after they split up, blaming Kilkenny.
But a jury took just under seven hours to find him guilty by majority of the murder at the High Court in Paisley yesterday.
The former Turkish soldier inflicted blunt force trauma to Leighanne’s head and body, throttled her, hit her on the head with an unknown object and stabbed her to death.
More than a dozen friends and family of Leighanne were in court to hear the verdict.
Temporary Judge Johanna Johnston QC said: “You left her dying in her own home with her children asleep upstairs.
“Had it not been for Mr Kilkenny attending at the house, which was unknown to you, the children could have discovered the ghastly scene of their mothers’ murder.”
He was remanded in custody to be assessed by social workers ahead of sentencing on the murder charge and is due to learn his fate next month.