Couple's attacker had been jailed for murder

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The Independent Online

A convicted killer was given five life sentences yesterday after being found guilty of attempting to murder and rape a woman while on parole from his first offence.

Ian Haywood, 37, had been out of jail for just over a year when he stabbed a teenager 35 times.

Following his conviction yesterday at the Old Bailey the sister of the murder victim criticised the prison and probation services for releasing Haywood and said her requests for him to remain in jail had been ignored.

Haywood, a lorry driver, attacked a 17-year-old and her 19-year-old boyfriend at Ditchling Common, a beauty spot in West Sussex on 18 January last year.

Wearing a balaclava and carrying a gun, he dragged the boyfriend from his car and locked him in the boot before repeatedly stabbing the girlfriend.

Haywood, from Hurstpierpoint in West Sussex, was convicted of attempted murder, attempted rape, false imprisonment and two offences of attempted robbery. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the five counts.

Moments after reaching its verdict the jury was told for the first time that Haywood had killed before. He was released after serving 14 years of a life sentence for murdering Karena Bigg-Wither, 26, with a machete. Her body was found at her parents' home in Dogmersfield, near Fleet, Hampshire, in 1984.

Miss Bigg-Wither had taken pity on the 19-year-old who had just been released from Borstal following a series of crimes for dishonesty. She let him sleep on the floor in her flat in the house, but then discovered him trying to steal jewellery. She ran off after Haywood tried to strangle her. He caught up with her and attacked her with the machete.

Haywood admitted murder at Winchester Crown Court the following year and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released on licence after serving 14 and a half years.

Miss Bigg-Wither's sister Alexandra Johnston, 57, said yesterday that she felt "very badly let down" by the prison and probation services.

She said: "They promised I would be contacted in good time before his release so I could make my objections known. The next thing I know I am telephoned and told that Haywood's release is imminent. When I said I wished to object I was told that it was too late and would have no effect on the outcome."

Sentencing Haywood yesterday, Judge Graham Boal said: "The facts of this case and your record, show you are an obvious danger and pose such a serious risk to the public that I recommend you stay in prison for the rest of your natural life."

The police were tipped off about Haywood's attack on the teenage couple by the killer's wife, Ann. She had telephoned the police after her husband returned home with blood on his shirt cuff and a knife handle in his hand wrapped in blood-soaked kitchen roll.