Man jailed for ex-girlfriend's murder

A SUFFOLK scaffolder who “exploded” and stabbed his former partner 15 times after finding out she had a new boyfriend has been jailed for 14 years for her murder.

A SUFFOLK scaffolder who “exploded” and stabbed his former partner 15 times after finding out she had a new boyfriend has been jailed for 14 years for her murder.

Ainsley Rush had become obsessed with 20-year-old Sarah Spurgeon and told friends that “if he couldn't have her no-one else could”, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

On March 18 Rush, 25, went to Miss Spurgeon's home in North Field Close, Oulton, near Lowestoft and repeatedly stabbed her with a knife while their 16-month-old daughter Faith was in the house.

Police officers who went to the house after Rush told his parents that he had killed her found Miss Spurgeon lying dead on the living room floor while Faith was safe and well in her cot upstairs, said Patricia Lynch QC, prosecuting.

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Rush, of Saxon Road, Pakefield admitted murdering Miss Spurgeon and was jailed for life with a direction that he should serve a minimum term of 14 years before being considered for early release by the parole board.

After the hearing Miss Spurgeon's mother Sheila Willars, who has been looking after her grandchild since the murder 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.

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“But now we have to look ahead and pick up our lives the best way we can but there will never be a day that goes by that Sarah isn't missed.”

Sentencing Rush, Judge John Devaux said that the defendant and Miss Spurgeon had had a volatile relationship and he had become obsessed with her.

On the evening in question he said that Rush had “exploded” after being told that future contact with his daughter would be denied and finding out that Miss Spurgeon had a new boyfriend.

Judge Devaux said an aggravating feature of the case was that Rush had told one witness that he “would have to kill Sarah” and another that “if he couldn't have her no-one else could”.

Miss Lynch told the court that the couple had met two years before Miss Spurgeon's death and had lived together.

Their relationship had become increasingly volatile and had ended in January this year after Miss Spurgeon “threw him out” of their home.

Miss Lynch said that in January 2006 Rush was admitted to hospital after cutting himself with a knife and told a doctor that he wanted to kill his girlfriend but was stopped from doing so by his strong religious beliefs.

He was seen by a senior psychiatric nurse but was found not to be mentally ill

On the evening of Miss Spurgeon's murder Rush had gone out at about 7pm and had returned later to his parents' home with blood on his hands and face.

When his father asked him what had happened he replied “I don't know dad - I think I have just killed Sarah”.

The police were called and Rush told officers he had been at home with his parents all evening. However one of the officers saw Mrs Rush mouth the words “Help me” and Rush was arrested.

A post mortem showed Miss Spurgeon had suffered 15 stab wounds, four of which had had penetrated her neck on one side and come out the other. Another had penetrated her heart, said Miss Lynch.

Phillip King QC for Rush described him as a hard working man who had cut himself off from his friends after meeting Miss Spurgeon.

He had been unable to cope with the breakdown of their relationship and had started harming himself.

Mr King said there was no evidence that Rush had taken a knife to Miss Spurgeon's house.

He said that Rush had been tipped over the edge after discovering pictures of her new boyfriend on her mobile phone and being told he wouldn't have access to his daughter.

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