'There's blood everywhere': Jealous headteacher's 999 murder call

'There's blood everywhere': Jealous headteacher's 999 murder call

October 1, 2020

‘There’s blood everywhere’: Jealous headteacher’s chilling 999 call after stabbing estranged wife and new lover to death in the bed they used to share at family home in horrific New Year’s Day ‘bloodbath’ – as he’s jailed for life

  • Helen Almey, 39, was found dead in early hours of New Year’s Day in Duffield
  • Her new lover was also knifed to death at Helen’s former marital home
  • She had recently started a relationship after separating from Rhys Hancock, 40
  • Hancock went beserk, driving to his former home after discovering relationship
  • After the killings he rang the police to tell them to come to the house 

A jealous headteacher has been jailed for life after murdering his estranged wife and her new boyfriend before tipping off police ‘There’s blood everywhere’.

Rhys Hancock, 40, went berserk on New Year’s Day and stabbed to death Helen Almey, 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48, after finding out she had found love again.

Hancock had crept in through the unlocked back door before inflicting over 100 wounds on the sleeping pair. 

Details of the horror phone call he made to Derbyshire Police were revealed during his sentencing where he was given life with a minimum of 31 years.

He told the handler: ‘I have just murdered my wife in her bed. I have just stabbed them.

‘There is blood everywhere. His name is Martin Griffiths.

‘This has just happened. My children are safe at my mother’s house.’

When police arrived they found him covered in blood as he told them ‘I’m hardly going to deny it; look at me’. 

Hancock, of Etwall, Derbys, had already pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court in July to two counts of murder via video link.

PE teacher Ms Almey and Mr Griffiths, a company director of a marketing firm, were discovered in a pool of blood at the £400,000 property on New Zealand Lane just after 4am.

The new couple died from stab wounds after being found by police at the detached property Ms Almey previously shared with Hancock in Duffield, Derbys.

The police mugshot of Rhys Hancock, 40, which was released after he was jailed for life


Victim: Mother-of-three Helen Hancock (nee Almey, pictured), 39, was stabbed to death alongside her new partner Martin Griffiths in the early hours of New Year’s Day

Rhys Hancock (pictured), the 40-year-old husband of Helen Hancock murdered the couple

Derbyshire Police confirmed that it had referred itself to Britain’s police watchdog the IOPC in the wake of the deaths ‘due to contact between Mrs Hancock and officers prior to the incident’ – police are pictured during their investigations on Thursday January 2 in Duffield, Derbyshire

Opening the case against Hancock today, prosecutor Michael Auty QC first told Derby Crown Court about a phone call made by his mother Denise to police at 4.11am on New Year’s Day, in which she said: ‘Please you need to go.

‘She has been with another man. My son found out on Friday night.

‘He now has two knives and is on his way there. He is in his car. His name is Rhys Hancock.

‘I saw him take the knives.’

Mr Auty then read the transcript of another call to the court, this time from Hancock himself to the 999 operator.

He said the murderer was arrested outside the former marital home in Duffield at 4.31am.’

Continuing to describe what he told officers, Mr Auty said: ‘He explained that he had tried initially getting into the house through the front door, but the key was obviously in the lock. 

Estranged: Helen Hancock (nee Almey) was found dead at the home she once shared with her estranged headteacher husband, Rhys Hancock (pictured together)

Hours after the tragedy Claire Griffiths (right) changed her cover photo on Facebook to a picture of her with her estranged husband in happier times. They are believed to have separated in 2019

Investigation: A double murder probe underway in Duffield after police had been called to the scene at 4am

‘He then went around to the back door, which they had left unlocked, and then gone upstairs to the bedroom and stabbed them both.’

Mr Auty said paramedics arrived at around 4.43am at Hancock’s former marital home.

The court heard that Paul Whitfield, a clinical operations manager with the East Midlands Ambulance Service, described the scene as a ‘blood bath’.

Mr Auty told the court Mr Whitfield had said: ‘In over 17 years’ experience, it was … the most violent incident he had ever seen.’

The prosecuting barrister said Martin Griffiths was pronounced dead at 4.48am and, after resuscitation attempts, Helen Hancock shortly followed at 4.55 am.

Derby Crown Court heard Helen Hancock had suffered 66 separate injuries in the brutal attack – with 28 of those seen on the head and neck.

Mr Auty said her injuries were ‘in keeping with the use of severe force’.

The court then heard Martin Griffiths suffered 37 injuries at the hands of Hancock, with eight seen on the face and neck and nine on the torso – four of which were stab wounds.

Pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton said in a statement that both victims died as a result of stab wounds.

A cordon in place at the property (pictured) where Helen and her new partner were murdered

Police combing the street for evidence that will link the killer to the scene where a new couple died on New Year’s Day

Addressing Hancock’s formal interviews to police, Mr Auty said the defendant had taken both landline telephones from his mother’s house and had attempted to locate her mobile in order to prevent her from alerting police.

In his interview with police, Hancock said: ‘I took everything. There’s two phones in my pockets.

‘I took her emergency button. I didn’t know where her mobile was.

‘I raced there; the back door was open.

‘I tried to open the front door, but the key was obviously in. I went around the back and they and they left the back open.

‘I walked in, walked upstairs and I stabbed them. I’m sorry.’


Officers were on ladders inspecting the roof and pulling up drains in Duffield as they look for clues and perhaps a murder weapon 

Helen, who started using her maiden name Almey again, split with her husband Rhys in 2019

Helen was well-known and much loved in her village, where many said they were bereft for her children

Family: Neighbours said Mrs Hancock (nee Almey) had recently started a relationship after separating from Mr Hancock, who is the father of her children, aged nine, seven and four 

Forensic officers at the scene in Duffield, Derbyshire after two people were found dead

Explaining what Hancock’s movements were before travelling 10 miles to his former marital home, Mr Auty said he had told his mother ‘I feel like I want to kill them’.

Hancock then went to the kitchen and returned moments later with two kitchen knives – an 18cm long chef’s chopping knife and a 30-32cm long knife intended for slicing.

Mr Auty said his mother, ‘reminded him he had three beautiful children’.

Hancock asked his mother ‘what would happen if he left’, to which she replied she would ‘call the police’.

Continuing to describe what Hancock did before travelling to Duffield, Mr Auty said of the defendant’s mother: ‘She describes him as being calm and pacing.

‘She says she had never seen him so calm. He told her he would get 25 or 30 years in prison and that he would be released when he was in his 60s.

‘She was certain now that he had a settled intention.

‘He told his mother that he loved her and then left the house, returning moments later and, bizarrely, shared a cup of tea with his mother one last time, as if it was his way of bidding her farewell.’

Continuing to describe what Hancock did before travelling to Duffield, Mr Auty said of the defendant’s mother: ‘She describes him as being calm and pacing.

‘She says she had never seen him so calm. He told her he would get 25 or 30 years in prison and that he would be released when he was in his 60s.

‘She was certain now that he had a settled intention.

‘He told his mother that he loved her and then left the house, returning moments later and, bizarrely, shared a cup of tea with his mother one last time, as if it was his way of bidding her farewell.’ 

Completing his opening, Mr Auty concluded by saying: ‘There is no escaping these murders were premeditated, they were savage, the attack was merciless, there were elements of sadism and the intention was always … and only to kill.

‘Perhaps, above all else, they were committed in the coldest of blood.’ 

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