Surrey

Man convicted of second murder over Surrey woman's death

David Baxendale
Image caption Baxendale has a history of violence dating back more than 20 years

A convicted killer who stabbed to death a mother-of-three before fleeing to Spain has been jailed for life.

David Baxendale, 40, carried out a "ferocious attack" on Sarah Thomas, 38, at her home in High Street, Nutfield, on 10 May last year.

Surrey Police said he fled the country on a ferry and travelled to southern Spain where he had been jailed for a previous murder in 2001.

He was extradited and given a whole-life term at Guildford Crown Court.

The court heard how Baxendale met Miss Thomas at a friend's flat in Redhill and the pair caught a taxi back to her flat in Nutfield village.

Miss Thomas's boyfriend later went to the flat and found her lying on the living room floor covered in blood.

History of violence

Paramedics arrived shortly after but they were unable to revive her.

Baxendale was seen running from the building. He made his way to Walton-on-the-Hill where his mother lived.

Police found his fingerprints in blood in Miss Thomas's flat and his blood-stained jacket in a plastic bag discarded under a bench in a garden.

Detectives found another bag, hidden in a hedge, containing a T-shirt and jeans with traces of Baxendale's DNA and a pair of trainers stained with Miss Thomas's blood.

Image caption Sarah Thomas died of multiple stab wounds at her flat in Nutfield on 10 May last year

The day after the murder, he made his way to Portsmouth and used his brother's passport to book a ticket on a ferry to St Malo in France.

He travelled to Fuengirola near Marbella in Spain where he was recognised by a member of the public from a police media appeal.

Surrey Police officers accompanied him on a flight back to Heathrow Airport.

Police said Baxendale had a history of violence involving knives dating back 20 years.

In 2001 he was jailed in Spain for murdering a man whom he stabbed 14 times while under the influence of drink and drugs, a force spokesman said.

He was deported back to the UK in June 2008 and released from prison in September 2009 to be placed under the care of Surrey Probation Service.

Det Ch Insp Steve Hayes, of Surrey Police, said: "He is clearly an extremely dangerous individual whose propensity for violence knows no bounds."

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