A former police officer was today found guilty of brutally murdering his estranged wife at her hairdressing salon.
Ivan Esack, 38, plunged an eight inch kitchen knife into pretty Natalie Esack, 33, 11 times at her hairdressing salon because he was so jealous of her new lover.
The ex Kent Police detective-turned-phoney football agent bought the kitchen knife at Sainsbury’s supermarket in Ashford, Kent.
He then went to Natalie’s nearby salon, Esack Hair Design, where he trapped her in the basement and attacked her with ferocity the tip of the blade broke off.
The former Detective Constable then calmly left the salon saying “she deserved it, the bitch” before returning to his car and paying for his parking.
He admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility because he was suffering from mental illness.
But a jury of eight men and four women at Maidstone Crown Court found the him unanimously guilty.
Wearing a grey suit, Esack showed no emotion and just starred blankly ahead as he was told he now faces life behind bars.
Judge Charles Byers told him: “You have been found guilty of a serious offence. I will pass sentence upon you on Monday.”
Esack, from Ashford, denied murdering Natalie on April 30 this year but formally admitted manslaughter at Maidstone Crown Court on January 4.
CCTV footage from the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Maidstone showed him selecting a knife and some chicken before paying at the self-service tills.
Cameras recorded him leaving at 9.25am. He then drove to an NCP car park at County Square, left his car and walked into Tufton Street.
He turned into Church Path by the churchyard and passed by the rear of Esack Hair and Beauty and entered at the front where he found Natalie working atreception.
Fellow hairdresser Chelsea Ford, 18, could be heard on CCTV footage in a distressed state as she ran from the salon into a shop next door.
The teenager told the court she had heard Esack tell Natalie on a previous occasion she was “a dead woman walking”, adding: “Tick tock, tick tock.”
Esack returned home after the attack, where he was arrested soon afterwards.
The court heard he and Natalie had been dating for about 10 years before getting married in 2006 and the couple had set up the hairdressing business in January 2008.
Their marriage deteriorated and they separated by April 12 this year, after which Natalie started a new relationship with Justin Khadaroo, 34.
Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, told the court Natalie received a series of abusive calls and text messages sent by Esack in the run-up to the killing, including some the day before her death.
During one exchange, Esack told her she was a “dead woman walking” and added: “tick tock, tick tock”. In another message, he said: “You’re going to die, babe.
“You’re going to f****** die. I hope you’re happy.”
He said the messages were “clear, direct threats” that he intended to kill Natalie and following the knifing Esack told officers: “She f***** me over, she had it coming.”
Esack is also understood to have said: “She drove me to it. I’m not a violent person but she drove me to it.”
The trial heard Mr Esack had told his estranged wife he had been having an affair with another man in the months before he stabbed her to death.
He told her she should be tested for sexually transmitted infections, which left her “mortified”.
A psychiatrist told the court “stocky” Esack, who declined to give evidence at trial, was suffering from a narcissistic disorder at the time of the attack.
Oliver Saxby, defending, told the court narcissistic personality is a recognised mental condition, and its traits among people who suffer from it includes lack of empathy.
He said Esack had lost touch with reality and made claims he wanted to be Prime Minister and mixed in important circles in the footballing world.
Esack will be sentenced on Monday.
The family of tragic Natalie welcomed the guilty verdict, but said there will “never be true justice” for their loss.
And they called on other women in violent relationships to seek help “before it is too late.”
In a statement they said: “We, as a family, are all totally devastated at the loss of such a truly wonderful daughter, grand-daughter, sister and friend.
“Anyone that was lucky enough to come into Natalie’s life would tell you the same, that she was the most caring, selfless and genuine, happy outgoing person.
“Natalie was the head of our small family. We all looked up to and respected her.
“She took control of all the frequent family get-togethers and helped us through any problems we had.
“We all turned to her and she was happy to help as she was such a caring person. No matter what was going on in her life, she always made time for us and others.
“There will never be true justice for our loss. No one should have to bury their daughter or sister at such a young age, just because someone else had decided to take them away from everyone they love.
“The most precious person has been ripped from our lives and we would ask that anyone who may be suffering like Natalie to please seek help before it is too late.”
Hairdresser, Chelsea Ford, 18, who worked in Natalie’s salon and witnessed the brutal attack, said she “couldn’t have asked for a better friend.”
She said: “Natalie, my boss, my role model, most importantly my closest best friend, now a beautiful angel.
“[There was]16 years between us but you wouldn’t know.
“That was one of the best things about Natalie, no matter the age, or how much she knew about life, she would always treat me the same.
“She taught me everything not just about hairdressing but about life too.
“The world has lost a woman who wasn’t just beautiful on the outside but a special, caring person who’d help anyone she could.
“I truly couldn’t have asked for a better friend, we’d talk, laugh and enjoy everyday no matter what was going on, like she would always say to me ‘laugh, because if you don’t, you’d cry’.
“Forever in my hearts (sic) and thoughts.”