Man murdered ex-lover in frenzied attack

A man killed his ex-girlfriend in a frenzied knife attack because he could not bear to think of her with another man, a court heard yesterday. Ainsley Rush stabbed 20-year-old Sarah Spurgeon 15 times in the neck and chest with a kitchen knife at her home in Northfield Close, Oulton, near Lowestoft, while their 16-month-old daughter Faith slept in a cot upstairs.

A man killed his ex-girlfriend in a frenzied knife attack because he could not bear to think of her with another man, a court heard yesterday.

Ainsley Rush stabbed 20-year-old Sarah Spurgeon 15 times in the neck and chest with a kitchen knife at her home in Northfield Close, Oulton, near Lowestoft, while their 16-month-old daughter Faith slept in a cot upstairs.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how on March 18, Rush had flown into a jealous rage after finding a picture of Miss Spurgeon's new boyfriend on her mobile phone.

Yesterday, Rush, 25 of Saxon Road Lowestoft, who admitted murder at an earlier hearing, was jailed for life and told he would serve a minimum of 14 years.

Prosecuting, Patricia Lynch explained how Rush had become obsessed with Spurgeon after their relationship had broken down in January this year.

In the weeks leading to the stabbing Rush, who worked as a scaffolder in Beccles, confided in a number of colleagues his desire to kill Miss Spurgeon, telling them if he could not have her no-one could.

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Miss Lynch said: “One colleague told how he repeatedly talked about killing her, sometimes saying he was going to stab her up then kill himself.”

Mitigating, Phillip King said: “Our case is that on that night the defendant did not take the knife to Sarah's house, there was no violent plan.

“The discovery of this photograph may be what tipped him over the edge, this fresh revelation led to Sarah's death. His self-control vanished and he was transported on a wave of jealous anguish.”

Passing sentence, Judge John Devaux said: “Your relationship with Sarah Spurgeon was described as volatile. It has been said you became obsessed with her.

“One witness told how you said how you would go to her house in the middle of the night, take a meat cleaver from the kitchen and kill her with it. In the event you almost did just that, but it was not a meat cleaver but a knife you used to inflict 15 wounds on her.

“You will be sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years, less the 276 days you have spent in custody. If it remains necessary for the protection of the public you will continue to be detained. Once released you will remain on licence for the rest of your life.”

Speaking after the hearing, Miss Spurgeon's mother, Sheila Willars, said: “No matter how long he got it would never be enough for the family because it will never bring back the beautiful person and loving mum that Sarah was. Now we have to look ahead and pick our lives up as best we can, but there won't be a day that goes by that Sarah is not missed.”