Man jailed for stabbing love rival

PUBLISHED: 11:40 07 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 06 May 2010

A CRIME of passion which saw a man stab his love rival five times with a large kitchen knife has ended with a jail sentence. Jealous John Cook, of Olive Close, St Albans, stabbed Tim Churchill when he found out he was still having a relationship with his

A CRIME of passion which saw a man stab his love rival five times with a large kitchen knife has ended with a jail sentence.

Jealous John Cook, of Olive Close, St Albans, stabbed Tim Churchill when he found out he was still having a relationship with his partner Bobby Lancaster even though she had told him the affair was over.

After drinking heavily, Cook drove to Russet Drive in St Albans in the early hours of August 4 to confront the pair. He kicked at the front door and when Mr Churchill appeared, he stabbed him repeatedly with the knife. Cook, 61, later told police officers that he hoped his love rival would die.

Mr Churchill was taken to Hemel Hemp­stead Hospital where he was treated for three stab wounds to his left arm and two to the upper left chest. He was in hospital for nine weeks.

Charles Ingram, prosecuting, at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday) where Cook was appearing for sentence, said that as a result of his injuries, Mr Churchill was no longer able to work as a builder.

In a victim impact statement Mr Churchill said: "There is not a day when I do not relive those moments in my mind. My life has been destroyed."

When Cook was interviewed, he claimed he had been, "pushed to the edge" and had armed himself with a, "whacking great kitchen knife." When he was breath-tested five hours after the attack, he gave a reading of 55 - still more than one and a half times over the drink drive limit.

Cook had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to wounding with intent, common assault and drink driving. He was of previous good character.

Jonathan Ray, defending, said: "Mr Churchill was sleeping with Bobby, the woman Mr Cook regarded as his wife. It was a crime of passion. Miss Lancaster said at one point Mr Cook had got on his knees and said: 'I will do anything you want provided you don't see Tim any more."

Remorse

He maintained that Cook's remorse was genuine and he bitterly regretted his action. He said that he was supported by family and friends and handed the judge a file of character references including one from Miss Lancaster.

Judge Michael Baker told Cook: "You were jealous your partner had taken up with someone else and angry that you had been deceived when she had indicated the relationship was over. It was only chance that prevented your act of being one of murder. This was a terrible attack with very serious consequences indeed for Mr Churchill."

He jailed Cook for four and a half years with the 149 days he has spent in custody counting towards his sentence. He is likely to be released when he has served half of his prison term.

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