Ex-partner jailed for Leicestershire stab murder

Kevin Sainsbury and Karen Brookes
Image caption The court heard Sainsbury could not accept the end of the 15-year relationship

A man who stabbed his ex-partner to death with a chisel while he was on bail for threatening to kill her has been jailed for a minimum of 25 years.

Kevin Sainsbury, 51, of Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire, was found guilty on Thursday of murdering Karen Brookes as she sat in her car outside her work.

Nottingham Crown Court heard he could not accept their relationship was over.

Sentencing him to a life term, Judge Michael Stokes QC described Sainsbury's actions as a "truly appalling crime".

Ms Brookes' family said she may not have died had Sainsbury not been allowed bail a month before.

'Brutally stabbed'

Sainsbury's trial heard he had previously been charged with making threats against Ms Brookes and had been ordered to stay away from her.

He claimed he thought he was using the handle of the chisel to hit Ms Brookes, 37, in the attack in Barwell, Leicestershire, but was found guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict.

Judge Stokes told him he did not believe the crime was without some pre-meditation as he was prepared to "brutally and publicly end her life".

He told Sainsbury: "You are essentially a selfish and immature individual who puts his own desires before those of others.

"This was not a sudden loss of control on your part.

"Despite the conditions of your bail to keep away from her you deliberately sought her out with the intention of killing her.

"None of us can even begin to imagine the absolute terror she must have experienced when you attacked her so brutally.

"As she screamed in terror you brutally stabbed her with considerable force three times."

'Lives destroyed'

In a statement released through Leicestershire Police, her family said: "He had a violent past, some of which was more recent, and these facts must have been known to the magistrates that dealt with him.

"He certainly should not have been released to then be able to go on and commit this horrific crime that took the life of Karen and destroyed so many other lives in the process."

In a brief statement released after Sainsbury's conviction on Thursday, the Judicial Communications Office (JCO) said that among Sainsbury's bail conditions was one that he should not contact Ms Brookes.

It added there was a presumption under the Bail Act that bail would usually be granted, and there was a right of appeal against any decision.

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