Ex-matelot who strangled his wife and buried her body in her favourite Spanish beauty spot has been jailed for life. Heavy drinker Allen Heard admitted killing Patricia on the night they celebrated her 58th birthday. [align=center][/align] He said he lost his self-control during an argument over another woman. The 63-year-old former member of the Royal Navy looped a piece of rope around his wife's neck and held it tightly for up to an hour. Mrs Heard disappeared in 2006, two years after the couple emigrated to Spain from Warwickshire. Birmingham Crown Court was told that Heard made up a story about dropping her off in Benidorm and then sent text messages from her phone to cover his tracks. In fact, he buried her body in a shallow grave at a beauty spot she loved in the mountains in Oliva, near Valencia. Heard, a father-of-two, gave himself up to police in August last year after returning to the UK. His wife's wedding ring and some jewellery were later found hidden inside a statue of the Virgin Mary. The judge Mrs Justice Rafferty said he should serve a minimum term of 11 years. Passing sentence, she said: "Like the Crown, this court has nothing but your account. Though you did not confess at the earliest opportunity, you did plead guilty." Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Nav Malik, of Warwickshire Police, said he was pleased with the result. "The family has supported us throughout the investigation and I hope they can now continue their grieving process and begin to move on."