A husband, described as “coercive and controlling,” murdered his wife when he realized that she was trying to divorce him. He has now been jailed for at least 21 years.

After the murder in the Whinmoor area of Leeds, Mark Barrott was the subject of a nationwide manhunt. He was traced 400 miles away to a monastery in north-east Scotland, reported The Guardian. He had denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility and on the grounds of mental illness, but admitted to manslaughter. He previously claimed that he believed that his wife, Eileen, was possessed by a demon and he wanted to kill it.

Barrott, now 55, was last month found guilty of murdering Eileen after a two-week trial by jury at Leeds Crown Court. Barrott was jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years by Judge Andrew Hatton, sitting at Bradford crown court Monday. He described the murder as “a final act of control” after a long history of domestic abuse. The sentencing was delayed after Barrott was taken to the Accident and Emergency department from the psychiatric hospital where he was staying in due to a potential overdose, according to LeedsLive.

Barrott was “responsible for an appalling catalogue of coercive and controlling behavior against his wife, Eileen, over a number of years," said Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Rolfe, the senior investigating officer. She noted that when he realized that his wife was "trying to finally break free from this toxic relationship, he acted with murderous intent." According to Rolfe, his "cruel and selfish actions have robbed Eileen’s family and friends of her and left a huge hole in their lives.”

Last August, Barrott, who had subjected his wife to years of abusive behavior, monitoring her phone and stalking her at work, attacked her with a hammer and strangled her. Her unresponsive body was found by the couple’s son, Joel, now 21.

The couple's 23-year-old daughter Carita told the court that her father had played a "sick game," accoring to ITV. She said that her life was "completely thrown upside down and it changed my whole outlook on life. I felt completely hollow, walking around like an empty shell, without the biggest inspiration in my life." She added that she and Joel have "no parents no one to guide us any more."

Courtroom Representational image. Pixabay.