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Mansion left to rot after man killed his wife in 2005 goes up for sale for £3.25m after restoration

A five-bedroom Victorian mansion that was left to rot after a lawyer stabbed his wife to death in its master bedroom has gone up for sale for £3.25million following a ten year restoration project.

The huge property, in Altrincham, Cheshire, has been restored to its former glory 15 years after the killing in March 2005.  

Christopher Lumsden, then 52, knifed 53-year-old wife Alison around 30 times after she announced she was leaving him for a family friend.

After the killing, the five bedroomed residence in Altrincham, Cheshire, with its immaculately manicured lawns, tennis courts and coach house remained empty and fell into rack and ruin.

Now the home has been restored, renamed and has been put up for sale as a ‘striking 19th century Arts and Crafts villa’ complete with underground swimming pool and sauna, plus cinema room and a triple garage.

Other lavish leisure facilities listed include a gym and a jacuzzi and it notes the home is surrounded by gardens spanning three quarters of an acre.

Details by estate agents Jackson-Stops make no mention of its grim past but promotional material gushes: ‘An incredible gothic Victorian villa which has been meticulously remodelled in recent years to form a bright and open house with a subterranean leisure suite.’

The property was believed to have been built in the 1880s and was once the site of a Catholic boys school in the 1940s.

Lumsden, a partner at the international law firm Pinsent Masons, led a seemingly happy life amid the dinner parties, tennis clubs and bridge evenings he held with fellow members of the Cheshire set.

But his wife of 24 years, a former Sotheby’s auctioneer, was having an affair with married businessman Roger Flint, 58, after they met at Bowdon tennis club and in March 2005, she told her husband and asked for a divorce.

But, after spending several days putting his affairs in order, Lumsden – who had muscular dystrophy – attacked her when she returned home after spending the evening with her lover.

Later Lumsden – who had been in bed in his pyjamas – recalled to a court how Alison was sat at the dressing table in their bedroom taking off her makeup after telling him she ‘couldn’t live with a cripple’.

Despite being charged with murder Lumsden was jailed for five years after he was found guilty of manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility claiming he had a depressive illness.

He served two and half years in jail and is believed to have inherited £1m from Alison’s will which Alison’s family reportedly agreed for the sake of the couple’s two grown-up children.

He sold the house to a firm of property developers for £1.4m in November 2007 and later moved to Derbyshire to work as a business consultant.

During the project, planning permission on the site was granted to develop and extend Oakleigh. Builders demolished Oakleigh’s orangery and extended the basement area to form an indoor heated swimming pool.

One former neighbour said: ‘A woman died horribly inside that house and for a long time it did seem the scars of what happened would not go away.

‘But its great to see it looking so fantastic again after all these years and everyone hopes it will be a lovely home for someone.

‘When the Lumsdens had it, Oakleigh was a lovely property with the Lumsdens regularly playing tennis and holding garden parties for their friends from the tennis club but after the murder it was overrun by vandals and there was rubbish everywhere.

‘There were piles of tyres in the driveway, half the windows are smashed or boarded up and there was graffiti everywhere. Before it was renovated it had become a real eyesore. ‘

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