Muhammad Ilyas, 41, of Kingston Road, Ilford, was sentenced on Friday, 1 July, at the Old Bailey, and will serve a minimum of 18 years.
On Friday, June 10, he was found guilty of the murder of Maria Rafael Chavez.
On the evening of May 13, 2021, police were called after Maria was discovered unresponsive at a residential property on Kingston Road.
Officers and the London Ambulance Service responded, but Maria, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Maria had no obvious injuries, and there were no signs of a disturbance, according to an initial investigation at the scene.
Officers scheduled a special post-mortem examination to determine how she died. This was performed on May 26, 2021, and revealed that Maria had suffered compression to her neck, most likely as a result of being strangled.
Homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command conducted additional investigations, including gathering CCTV evidence and speaking with neighbours.
This information, along with the pathologist’s findings, assisted officers in determining that Ilyas murdered Maria on the afternoon of May 13, 2021.
Ilyas was arrested and questioned about his role in Maria’s death. He denied murdering Maria and told officers she died of natural causes. The results of the post-mortem examination proved otherwise.
The couple had moved to the UK in 2019, and Maria was enrolled in an English language course at the time of her death. In Stratford, Ilyas was working on a market stall.