Beds, Herts & Bucks

Norfolk man jailed for murder attempt on brother-in-law

A taxi driver from Norfolk has been jailed for 12 years for the attempted murder of his brother-in-law in a row over a family business.

Robert Whitby, 55, of Hillen Road, King's Lynn fired a marine flare at Michael Jackson after breaking into his home in Middleton on 31 March.

He escaped but was pursued in a car by Whitby, who tried to run him over, Norwich Crown Court heard on Monday.

Whitby had admitted the charge at a previous hearing.

Police had intervened after being called by Whitby's sister, Jane Jackson.

He was heard to shout: "It's not over. My mates will get him."

The court heard Whitby had fallen out with Mr and Mrs Jackson over the ownership of a Citroen Berlingo.

Attack with coffee table

He had been working for the couple as a taxi driver but took it "very badly" when they refused to register the vehicle in his name.

After making an earlier threat to kill Mr Jackson, Whitby arrived at the couple's house in the early hours.

The court heard he had punched his sister as he arrived at the property, before attacking Mr Jackson with a coffee table and firing the flare at him.

Katharine Moore, mitigating, said Whitby was not "academic" but was a "hard-working family man".

Mr Justice Bean, sentencing, said: "I regard this as a planned attempt to kill."

He said the incident had caused "enormous" psychological damage to Mr and Mrs Jackson and their business.

"The value of what you destroyed in money terms was about £200,000 but it is even more serious in that the Jacksons' lives were ruined," he said.

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