A hearing is taking place today to decide if a Southampton man who murdered his wife should be released from prison.

David Gibson, now 52, was jailed for life in 2004 after smothering his wife Belinda with a pillow while his father Leslie held her down.

A court heard how the body of the former hairdresser was then dumped in the Solent, off The Needles.

Three days after the jurors returned their verdicts, David Gibson confessed to dumping her body but continued to deny any involvement in her death.

READ MORE: Southampton wife killer David Gibson applied for parole

Last year it emerged that the former martial arts instructor had applied for parole.

Speaking at the time, a Parole Board spokesman said: "Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

"A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change.

"Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.

"Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority."

The six-week trial was held at Winchester Crown Court, with both defendants pleading not guilty.

Jurors heard how David Gibson, then 33, and his 66-year-old father Leslie suffocated Belinda at the family home at Purvis Gardens, Sholing, in February 2002.

Her body was then stripped and stored in the garden shed before being transferred to an inflatable boat and dumped at sea.

David Gibson was said to have murdered 32-year-old Belinda because their marriage was failing and he was having an affair.

The judge, Mr Justice Silber, said: "David Gibson was the prime force in instigating this plan and carrying out this plan. Leslie Gibson probably became involved under misguided loyalty for his son."

The judge ruled that David Gibson should serve at least 18 years and nine months before being considered for parole.

He added that Leslie Gibson, a retired dock worker of Mortimer Road, Woolston, should stay in prison for at least ten years and nine months.

A Parole Board spokesman confirmed that a hearing to decide David Gibson's future was taking place today. The result will be announced later.