A former Warwickshire man who strangled his wife and buried her body in a shallow grave near their home in Spain has been jailed for life.
Retired Allen Heard, 63, tried to cover up the killing of Patricia Heard for more than two years before confessing to his children and sister-in-law, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Mrs Justice Rafferty ordered Heard, formerly of Bedworth, to serve at least 11 years of a mandatory life sentence before he can be considered for parole.
Passing sentence, the judge said she accepted Heard's account that he had killed his wife using a rope after an argument at their home in Oliva, near Valencia, in July 2006.
Michael Burrows QC, prosecuting, said Heard, who pleaded guilty to murder at a previous hearing, had moved to Spain with his wife in 2004 after taking early retirement.
The court heard that the father-of-two, a former member of the Royal Navy, killed his spouse after they returned home from a bar, where they had been celebrating her 58th birthday but were seen to have a heated discussion.
In his confession to police in August last year, Heard said his wife had suspected that he was having an affair and had demanded the password to view his emails when he lost control.
He also acknowledged that he had driven to a mountainous area, which his wife loved, to bury her body. But, Mr Burrows told the court, Heard used his wife's mobile phone three days after the killing to send text messages, apparently from Mrs Heard, to his own phone and that of her sister.
Family and friends were then told that Heard had had an argument with Patricia before dropping her off in Benidorm. The couple's son, Mark, made inquiries in Spain after his mother's disappearance, distributing leaflets in Benidorm and even making appeals for information on a local radio station.
Meanwhile, Mrs Heard's sister contacted Warwickshire Police, who began an inquiry, arresting her husband at East Midlands Airport in July last year.
Heard again denied any wrongdoing and was released on bail, but he admitted the killing to detectives a month later.
Mr Burrows said: "Over the weekend of August 2nd and 3rd he confessed to killing Patricia Heard to his son Mark, his daughter Linda, and Patricia's sister.
"He was arrested as he made his way to a police station, where he said he intended to hand himself in."