Man given life sentence for knife murder

Fatal obsession: Woman stabbed 60 times in second attack by killer
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The Independent Online
A man who stabbed his former girlfriend 60 times in a second attack on her was jailed for life for murder yesterday.

A year before the killing, Stephen Hudson was released from a seven-year sentence for stabbing Jayne Welch 20 times with a screwdriver, the Old Bailey was told.

He had vowed that if he could not have Ms Welch, 21, nobody else would, and had stalked her for a month, making her life a nightmare before carrying out the killing.

The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Neil Denison, sentencing, told Hudson: "For a period of years you had an obsession with this young woman. You terrorised her and her family so they were all living in a state of fear, though I accept from time to time she came back to you of her own volition.

"In 1990, after a savage attack on her you were sentenced to seven years. That proved no deterrent and events culminated in the killing in June last year. To say that killing was appalling is an understatement."

Stephen Kramer QC, for the prosecution, told the court that Hudson, 32, of Aldershot, Hampshire, who had admitted murder, started dating Ms Welch when she was 13. After two years, she told Hudson, who was 11 years her senior, that she wanted to go out with boys her own age. Hudson, who already had several convictions for violence against girlfriends, could not take the rejection.

He attacked Ms Welch as she walked in a park, stabbing her 20 times with a screwdriver. In 1990, he was jailed for seven years for the attack.

Ms Welch visited him in prison, despite the injuries he had inflicted on her. David Elfer QC, for the defence, said: "It was one of those curious relationships where they couldn't live together and couldn't live without each other."

In March 1994, Hudson was released from prison and by December he was back with Ms Welch.

"The relationship soon began to deteriorate," Mr Kramer said. "He was possessive to the point of obsession, wanting to know where she was and who she was with."

By May last year Ms Welch could take no more and decided to end the relationship again. But Hudson responded by "watching her, following her and arguing with her", he said.

He began to stalk her and made a series of phone calls saying: "I'll kill you and it won't just be with a screwdriver. This time I'll do it properly." He also threatened to kill her family.

Ms Welch took shelter in a caravan, living with Hudson's sister, Linda. But a month later Hudson arrived at the caravan park and killed Ms Welch. Using two kitchen knives and a carving fork, he stabbed her more than 60 times.

Hudson then left his bloodstained clothes at his mother's house and took an overdose of drugs before crashing his car.

Mr Elfer reported that Hudson had said to him: "She didn't deserve to die. If anyone deserved to die it was me."

The court was told that Hudson had tried unsuccessfully to get a place on an anger-management course two weeks before the murder.