Killer of marketing agency boss sentenced to 31 years

Rhys Hancock

The murderer of the owner of a Derby marketing firm and his partner has been sentenced to 31 years in jail.

Martin Griffiths, who owned the DE22 agency, and his partner Helen Hancock, the estranged wife of the murderer, were found at the latter’s home in New Zealand Lane, Duffield, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

They had suffered fatal stab wounds. Rhys Hancock, of Portland Street, Etwall, was arrested at the scene and later charged with two counts of murder.

He admitted to the murders when he appeared at court in July.

Her Honour Judge Nirmal Shant QC, sentencing Hancock, said: “What you did that night has deprived two families of the people they love and no sentence I impose will seem adequate to them and nothing I do can fill the undoubted void that the deaths of Helen Hancock and Martin Griffiths have left in their lives.

“Your actions that night left your three children without a mother and you left Martin’s family without a son and his children without a father.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Steve Shaw said: “What was apparent throughout our investigation was just how popular Helen and Martin were.

“They were much-loved by not only their families but by friends, neighbours and colleagues and I know their deaths have devastated everyone who knew them.”