A husband convicted of murdering his wife and the mother of their three children has offered police 'no explanation'.

Maria Rafael Chavex is believed to have been strangled when emergency services found her unresponsive at her home in Ilford in May last year.

Police and paramedics were called to the property in Kingston Road on May 13, but Ms Chavex was pronounced dead at the scene.

An initial investigation at the scene found she had not suffered any obvious injuries; however a special post-mortem examination revealed the mother-of-three had suffered compression to her neck, likely to have been as a result of being strangled.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Maria Rafael Chavex. Credit: Met PoliceMaria Rafael Chavex. Credit: Met Police

During enquiries, her husband, Muhammad Ilyas, was identified as a suspect.

After collecting CCTV evidence, speaking to neighbours, and using a pathologist's findings, detectives established Ilyas had killed his wife when the couple's three children were at school.

The 41-year-old, who moved to the UK with his family in 2019, was arrested and interviewed about his involvement in his wife’s death.

He denied killing her and told officers he believed she had died from natural causes.

Ilyas, who worked as a market stall trader in Stratford, was found guilty of murder on June 10 following a trial at The Old Bailey.

He will be sentenced on July 1.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Muhammad Ilyas. Credit: Met PoliceMuhammad Ilyas. Credit: Met Police

Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, from the specialist crime command, said: "Ilyas has not offered any explanation about the circumstances that led to his wife's death and has refused to accept responsibility for her murder.

"This is a tragic case that has left three children without their parents and I'm sure what they've been through will remain with them for the rest of their lives. My thoughts are with them and the rest of Maria's family and friends."