Swimwear model Mayka Kukucova has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of her British businessman ex-boyfriend Andrew Bush.
The Slovakian, 26, was also jailed for six months for breaking into his Costa del Sol home.
Judge Ernesto Carlos Manzano also ordered Kukucova to pay Mr Bush’s 21-year-old daughter Ellie £122,000 and his sister Rachel £30,500 to compensate their loss.
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‘Murderous cow’: Swimwear model Mayka Kukucova has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of her British businessman ex-boyfriend Andrew Bush
Infatuation: Kukucova dated the miilionaire jeweller – nicknamed the ‘King of Bling’ – for two and a half years after he gave her a job in one of his Gold Trader shops in Bristol
Kukucova was convicted of both crimes last Friday by a jury following a four-day trial. She could have been jailed for a maximum 22 years.
She shot Mr Bush dead on April 5, 2014 as he arrived at his villa near Estepona for a romantic break with his new, younger, Russian girlfriend Maria Korotaeva, 23.
Prosecutors said she was upset after the millionaire jeweller ended their two-and-a-half-year relationship in November 2013 and flew into a jealous rage after seeing him arrive with his new love.
The sentence was delivered by writing in a 17-page document.
The two years she has spent in custody since her arrest will be taken into account in determining her release date.
The judge indicated he believed Mr Bush’s death was essentially a crime of passion by accepting as an extenuating circumstance that Kukucova had acted in a ‘passionate state of mind’.
But the judge said he was taking into account the fact she had no previous criminal record and had made a ‘heartbroken apology’ when she was given the right to a last court address after the unanimous 9-0 verdict by the jury.
Eduardo Martinez Martin, the lawyer for Mr Bush’s daughter and sister, said: ‘It is apparent the judge wanted to be magnanimous with her.
‘We were happy with the murder verdict, but were expecting a sentence closer to 20 years.’
Mr Bush’s ex-wife Sam Mason, Ellie’s mother, was not available for comment.
Kukukova’s defence lawyer Carlos Larranaga confirmed he would be appealing.
He said: ‘I disagree with the jury’s verdict. We accept this was a homicide but not a murder and we say there are circumstances which modify my client’s legal responsibility.’
Heartbroken: Maria Korotaeva (left and right), the girlfriend of a British expat millionaire who was shot dead by his insanely jealous swimwear model former flame, has said she feels sorry for the murderer
Compassion: Miss Korotaeva (right with Mr Bush) said she felt sorry for the murderer, who she faced in court for the first time since that shocking night in 2014 when he was shot dead as they returned to his Spanish villa
The appeal, expected to argue Kukucova acted in legitimate self-defence and ‘insurmountable fear’ in line with her trial claim that Mr Bush attacked her first, will be lodged within the next ten days.
It will be decided by judges in Granada. The British businessman’s convicted killer went on trial last Monday.
She insisted she never wanted to harm him but shot him during a fight after he attacked her and then threatened her with a gun.
He was shot three times, twice in the head and once in the shoulder, with a .38 revolver which the jury ruled she placed in his hand to make it appear he had committed suicide before fleeing the crime scene.
She drove off in his £60,000 Hummer which she abandoned nearby after telling Ms Korotaeva to get out of the vehicle ‘because Andrew had given her permission to take it to the airport.’
She was arrested days later and extradited to Spain to face charges after fleeing to her homeland with a boyfriend who answered her call for help and flew to Madrid to pick her up.
Tears: Mayka Kukucova reacts in court after being found guilty last Friday following a four-day trial
Ms Korotaeva, who testified at the trial, said she was outside the house when the shots went off after running out to the car when she saw Mr Bush’s ex waiting for them inside in her pyjamas.
Jurors decided Kukucova had reduced her victim’s chances of defending himself by gunning him down unexpectedly as he returned to his house after going out to his Hummer where Ms Korotaeva was waiting and trying to calm her down.
But they didn’t support Mr Martinez’s argument she had deliberately sought to increase Andrew Bush’s suffering, meaning Kukucova could not be sentenced to the maximum 25 years for murder under the Spanish penal code in force at the time of the crime.
Kukucova was portrayed in court as an immature obsessive who stalked her former boyfriend after he ended their relationship.
After the guilty verdicts were announced last week, Mr Bush’s ex-wife, Sam Mason, savaged Kukucova for the damage she had caused.
She tweeted: ‘Twenty years for the murderous cow. Hope she rots. At no stage has she apologised to my girl. Blaming Andy, low life scum.’
Speaking to the Mirror, she said: ‘I’m so glad this long, arduous journey is finally over. My heart is with our darling daughter, my brother, sister and mother-in-law.
‘No sentence would be enough for the complete devastation she has caused our family.’
The former BBC Bristol presenter tweeted on Thursday a photo of herself and Mr Bush after giving birth to Ellie now aged 21.
She said: ‘Daddy and daughter. How can any1 ruin this? Verdict tomoz. My dear girl,no daddy. Heartbroken forever.’
Speaking after the trial, Mr Bush’s daughter, Ellie Mason-Bush, vowed to do everything she can to make her father proud.
She said after Kukucova was found guilty she visited his grave in Spain and told him: ‘We’ve done it for you dad… we’ve finally got justice for you.’
But Miss Korotaeva said she felt sorry for the murderer, who she faced in court for the first time since that shocking night in 2014.
‘She was sobbing the whole time, she has actually started to believed her own lies. She has lost everything and I pity her,’ she told The Sun on Sunday.
She said the model had changed so much that she couldn’t believe it was her when the pair’s eyes met.
‘She was beautiful but now she is fat and has spots on her face. I looked at her and thought ‘just let her go home’.’
Mr Bush’s ex-wife Sam Mason (pictured) said the family and their daughter were ‘devastated’ by his death
Sam Mason’s message on Twitter about today’s court verdict where she calls Kukucova ‘low life scum’
The former BBC Bristol presenter tweeted on Thursday a photo of herself and Andy after giving birth to Ellie now aged 21
Now the family are just left to rue the day the jeweller set eyes on the seductive swimwear model four years ago.
He gave Kukucova a job in one of his Gold Trader Shops in Bristol – and she struck gold.
Just 22 years old, she was less than half the age of the loan shark pawn broker, who was known to his customers as the ‘King of Bling’.
But their relationship quickly became turbulent as she threw tantrums, flew into jealous rages and constantly checked his computer and mobile phone.
When he dumped her – and began dating an even younger model – she spiralled out of control, shooting him dead at his Spanish villa.
Mr Bush was never a man to keep a low profile.
The former body builder, who worked out with a personal trainer twice a week, wore designer labels and had a permanent tan, lived in the sleepy Welsh market town of Chepstow.
But his five-bedroom home, which he bought in 2002 for £320,000 near Chepstow racecourse in rural Monmouthshire, was not discreet.
It was surrounded by a seven-feet high wall, had electronic gates, reinforced steel shutters on all the windows and doors, security cameras and even Rottweiler guard dogs.
On paper Bush did not appear to be a millionaire.
He officially had four businesses but three of them were dormant and his only trading company Bigwig Enterprises barely broke even. His 2013 accounts showed profits of £21,040.
However, according to news reports, two of his shops in Bristol were targeted by armed raiders, who made off with £500,000 in jewellery and diamonds.
Ellie Mason-Bush, 21, said after her father’s ex-flame was found guilty of murdering her father she visited his grave in Spain and told him: ‘We’ve done it for you dad… we’ve finally got justice for you’
Justice: In a statement outside court in Malaga, Mr Bush’s daughter Ellie (pictured left holding his sister Rachel’s hand), said: ‘She’s finally got a little bit of what she deserves after what she’s put this family through’
He always walked around town with a couple of minders.
He also had a fleet of expensive cars – including a red convertible Ferrari and a grey Lamborghini – as well as a top-of-the-range Hummer, which he kept at his Spanish villa in the seaside village of Cancelada, on the coastal strip near Malaga once known as the Costa del Crime.
Spanish police say he did not have a criminal record.
During the 1990s, he met Ms Mason, a news presenter for ITV’s HTV channel in Bristol, who was two years his junior.
They had daughter Ellie in 1994. The couple split up a few years after her birth but remained friends. She has now moved to Yorkshire.
It was after they separated that Bush developed a penchant for younger women: he began dating Kukucova, his sales assistant in 2012 but the relationship was far from smooth-sailing.
His daughter Ellie, who worked part-time for her father, says that Kukucova was ‘extremely insecure’ and ‘could not control her anger’ – she was even jealous of his relationship with his daughter.
‘She was always worried about him being with other women,’ Ellie told the Mail on Sunday in an interview after his death. ‘He couldn’t leave the shop to get a coffee without her following him. She would check his computers as soon as he walked away and go through his phone all the time.’
Her erratic behaviour began to seriously worry his family when they visited Dubai in September that year to celebrate Ellie’s 18th birthday.
Killer: Mayka Kukucova, 26, was convicted of murdering Mr Bush six months after he dumped her – and found love with another, younger woman
Enraged: But her erratic behaviour quickly began to worry his family, and came to the fore on a holiday to celebrate the businessman’s daughter Ellie’s 18th birthday in Dubai
On one occasion she threw a temper tantrum in a Dubai shopping mall. ‘We were out shopping and there were loads of things Mayka wanted to buy,’ said Ellie. ‘But Andy said: ‘No.’ She went into a blind rage, screaming, and threw a handbag at him.
‘She did it purposely to hurt him and then stormed off. We didn’t see her for a few hours. It was a common thing.’
Towards the end of the holiday, she even destroyed Bush’s laptop. ‘She stamped all over it,’ said his sister Rachel, who also worked in his shops. ‘Then she put it underneath a tap and put it back in the case.
‘When we got back to England, Andy realised but he tried to ignore it. He thought he could change her. Mayka cannot control her anger.
‘She was like a little child. It was regular behaviour every time we were together.
‘I was in hospital once and she pretended that the taxi crashed on the way so that everyone was asking if she was OK when she got there. But there was no taxi crash.
‘She has to be the main attraction.’
Kukucova was even jealous of his relationship with his family – she told his sister that she was ‘jealous that Andy has got a daughter’ and she removed all the family photographs from his house.
‘I said to Andy: ‘Where have the pictures gone?’,’ said Rachel. ‘She had taken them. She’s not stable.’
In September 2013, Kukucova went even further: Bush arrived at his house to find her handcuffed with a pillow over her head. She claimed that she had been overpowered by armed burglars.
Violence: The jeweller’s daughter and sister looked on in horror one night on the trip to Dubai as she flew into a blind rage, screaming at him and then threw a handbag at him
Rages: Bush bundled her into a taxi and sent her back to the hotel room where they were staying where she is said to have put his Apple computer under a tap in revenge for their row
Police were called but there was no appeal for witnesses, no description of the gang and no Crimewatch reconstruction. The family suspected her from the outset because the alleged robbery took place shortly after the couple had rowed – Kukucova had hid his passport to stop him going to the Middle East on business.
‘The robbery came at a time when their relationship was basically over,’ added Ellie. ‘She was psychotic. I said to her: ‘You’re mental. You need to be locked up.’
‘She suddenly became very clingy and would say: ‘Oh, Andy, I can’t sleep at night, I’m so scared.’ It was all very strange. She was the only person in the house when it happened.’
The following month, the couple finally broke up but Kukucova did not take the split well. She posted a series of videos on YouTube featuring the couple kissing and hugging – including screen grabs of loving text messages they had exchanged set to Celine Dion music. She implored her ex-lover to ‘forget everything bad’ saying: ‘Days without you don’t have meaning’ and ‘Let’s be together forever.’
But by Christmas she had been replaced in Bush’s affections by Maria Korotaeva, a Russian student he met at a branch of Costa Café in Bristol. She was a human resources student at the University of the West of England, who was just a year older than his daughter.
New love: As he moved on from his relationship with Kukucova, the successful father-of-one met Russian Maria at a branch of Costa Café in Bristol, studying human resources at the University of the West of England
Stalked: By this time, Bush had a restraining order out against his former lover – but Maria, who is only a year older than his daughter, claims possessive Kukucova was tracking him using the Find My Friends phone app
By then Bush had taken out a restraining order against his ex-lover but Maria believes that she was still tracking him after finding the Find my Friends app on his mobile phone.
‘I saw the App because I would often use his phone, but he had no idea what it was,’ she said in an interview with The Sun after his death.
‘The email address used to activate it wasn’t his. The only explanation is that she set it up when they were together. Andy told me to delete it, so I did.’
It is Maria’s photographs on Facebook and Instagram of the couple together which, police believe, pushed Kukucova over the edge.
She found her opportunity when the couple decided to have a romantic getaway to celebrate their fifth month anniversary at his Spanish villa.
On the way to Bristol airport, Bush presented Maria with a £10,000 diamond ring, saying he wanted to discuss ‘something important’ that night. But, the conversation never took place.
When they arrived at the villa in the early hours of April 5, 2014, laughing and ‘talking about how much we loved each other’, they were greeted by his spurned lover, who was lying in wait.
‘As soon as Andy switched on the lights I knew there was something wrong,’ Maria added. ‘There were bras and knickers hanging on a clothes rack in the entrance. My heart started thumping — I had a feeling someone was in the house.
‘I followed Andy in and there was a suitcase on the floor with a pair of stilettos inside. I turned and went upstairs. When I got to the top I could see her. She looked calm and stayed very still, like a rock.
‘The image will haunt me for life. She stood there, staring at me. She had her hair down and was wearing pyjamas — tiny shorts and a little flimsy vest top. I could just see her silhouette. I screamed and ran out of the house.’
New model: Bush split with Kukucova in October 2013. By Christmas, he and Maria were an item, but the Russian, now 22, claims Kukucova was a dark shadow over the early stages of their romance
Murder scene: Her ex-lover’s body was found in a pool of blood at the villa (pictured) by Ms Korotaeva, who watched Kukucova calmly walk out the house and demand the keys to the car, before fleeing the scene
After sitting in the £60,000 Hummer for a few minutes, Bush emerged and told her: ‘It’s OK darling, don’t worry. Call the police and tell them to come now.’ But her battery was dead. ‘I decided that he’d be able to sort it out,’ she added. ‘So I waited.’
Within minutes Kukucova had shot her boyfriend three times with an Italian-made .38 Amadeo Rossi revolver – one shot hit him in the arm; the others in the head. The police are uncertain where she got the gun, as the serial numbers had been sawn off.
‘I could hear shouting and then I heard a bang, then another bang-bang,’ she said. ‘I thought it was something being thrown down the stairs, maybe a TV or the luggage.
‘Then Mayka came out of the house. She had the keys and said: ‘Get off the car.’ She was so calm that it sends chills down my spine. I was furious. I didn’t think Andy would give her the keys.
‘But when she told me he wanted me to go inside and see him, I decided that he was desperate to get her away from the villa. Mayka said: ‘Andy wants to speak to you, he is in the toilet.’
‘So I got out and started to walk to the door. Then the car sped off and I realised the front door was closed. I shouted for Andy to let me in but there was no answer.’
After trying in vain to get into the villa, Maria charged her mobile at an outdoor socket. She then called Bush’s sister Rachel and the police.
‘I started praying: ‘Please God let him be alive. I don’t care what else, just let him be alive’.’
Sadly, her prayers weren’t answered.