Wednesday, September 8, 2010

British man receives 15 to life for stabbing "girlfriend" during sex

By Jaya Narain [Daily Mail] Last updated at 8:00 AM [BST] on 8th September 2010

A man stabbed his girlfriend to death after she accidentally blurted out the name of another man as they made love. Gary Higgs, 44, flew into a rage when his girlfriend suddenly cried out: 'Chris!'. He stormed downstairs, grabbed a chef's knife and stabbed Joanne Kitchen once in the back and once in the chest.

As she was dying from her wounds, he throttled the 41-year-old to death with the electrical flex of their alarm clock. He later told police: 'I asked her why she said "Chris", but she said she must have been thinking about her daughter's boyfriend Chris.' Manchester Crown Court heard Chris had been at the house the day before.

But Higgs told officers: 'It didn't make any sense to me and I was getting more angry. Why was she thinking about her daughter's boyfriend when we were having sex?

'I couldn't get things out of my mind. I didn't know exactly what I was thinking. I picked the knife up and carried it upstairs to the bedroom. I don't remember thinking I wanted to harm Jo at this time.I was just so mad.' Higgs also said that after he stabbed her, Miss Kitchen told him: 'You've killed me.'

Higgs, who admitted murder, was yesterday jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 15 years.
The court heard the couple ditched their long-term partners and moved in together after talking on Facebook.

Paul Reid, QC, prosecuting, said they struggled financially and depended on Miss Kitchen's wage as a security officer at a college in Bury. Early one morning in April this year a woman waiting at a bus stop heard 'argumentative screams' from a woman coming from the couple's home and another witness saw Higgs standing bare - chested at the window.

The alarm was raised when Miss Kitchen failed to turn up for work and her daughters could not contact their mother by phone or text. The landlord of the house in Radcliffe, near Bury, let the two women in and he found her body in the upstairs room.

Sentencing Higgs, Judge Andrew Gilbart, QC, said the relationship had been overcome by financial tensions and arguments. He said: "Those tensions can lead to mistrust and sexual jealousy. It seems you were overcome by your view that she could still be interested sexually in others and be as readily welcoming to conduct an affair with others as she had been with you. There is no evidence of that whatsoever, but even if there were, it cannot justify what you did. In my judgment, this is a case of an unreasonably possessive man killing his lover in a rage."

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