A BIGAMIST who killed nurse Rui Li has been jailed for life.

Pierre Legris, who has cancer, was told he would serve a minimum of 25 years behind bars for the murder of his second wife at their home in Burnham Drive, Bournemouth, on May 23 last year.

The 61-year-old, also known as Alain Baron, was found guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict at Winchester Crown Court this afternoon. He had already admitted bigamy and perverting the course of justice.

Legris' first wife Irene Smith, 66, was jailed for three years for assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice, and their son, Jonathan Legris, 27, was jailed for two years for assisting an offender. Both had denied the charges.

Both Legris junior and Smith were acquitted of conspiracy to commit murder.

The court heard little mitigation for Pierre Legris at his own request, except that he had been diagnosed with cancer, which had been "degenerative" during the course of the case.

Speaking for Smith, of St Clements Road, Nicholas Barraclough said her husband had been "the more sophisticated, the more manipulative of the two".

"She is totally and utterly ashamed to have found herself in prison," he said.

Representing Legris junior, of Spring Road, Bernard Tetlow QC said his client had agreed to help his father out of "misplaced familial loyalty".

He said without the information his client gave police in his interview about the location of the car containing Ms Li's body the investigation would have been dealt a severe blow.

"He broke down in tears, sobbing," said Mr Tetlow.

"This interview, his reaction, telling police what he knew, his reaction better expresses his remorse and regret for what he did than anything I might say in mitigation."

The jury at Winchester Crown Court returned a unanimous verdict at 12pm this afternoon, after more than two days of deliberation.

Pierre Legris, who has admitted bigamy and perverting the course of justice, had denied killing the Poole nurse, his second wife, at their home in Burnham Drive on May 23 last year.

Ms Li was last seen alive at 6.13pm on Friday, May 23 when CCTV cameras captured her leaving work at Poole Hospital in her Porsche Boxster car.

The court heard Pierre Legris killed Ms Li at their home in Burnham Road, Bournemouth, on Friday 23 May 2014 before wrapping her body in a plastic sheet and storing it in the back of a Transit van.

He left Ms Li’s body in the van during the May bank holiday weekend while he ate Sunday lunch with his family and went to a dance show in Watford arm-in-arm with Smith. The family’s movements were captured on CCTV.

On Tuesday, May 27, Pierre went to Bournemouth police station to report Ms Li missing.

That same day Pierre moved Ms Li’s body into the boot of a Fiat Punto owned by Jonathan Legris.

Jonathan Legris, following his father’s instructions, then drove the Punto containing his stepmother’s body to Verwood Crescent in Bournemouth.

Ms Li’s body was discovered in the boot of the car on May 30 2014. A post mortem examination revealed Ms Li had died of a significant head injury.

Following the discovery, Pierre Legris significantly changed his story to the police claiming he had found her body at their house and, in a panic, had placed her in the van.

The court heard Pierre and Ms Li offered massage services on Gumtree and clients were sometimes offered sexual services at their second home in Wolverton Road in Bournemouth. Pierre took responsibility for arranging the appointments.

Pierre Legris suggested that one of these customers killed Ms Li.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Marcus Hester, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “This was a detailed and complex investigation which involved officers from across the Force.

“Pierre Legris killed Rui Li out of greed, placed her body in the boot of a van before driving to Watford to enjoy a weekend with his first wife Irene Smith.

“He lied repeatedly to the police and went to great efforts to hide her body.

“I would like to praise the detectives working on this investigation, led by case officer Dave Richards, who worked tirelessly to ensure Pierre, Jonathan and Irene Smith were convicted of these crimes.

“It was a difficult case and we worked very closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure appropriate charges were brought.

“I hope the sentences handed out today will bring some closure to Rui Li’s daughter and her family in China.”