Sussex

Attempted wife murder councillor Joseph O'Riordan jailed for 20 years

Joseph O'Riordan Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Joseph O'Riordan had denied he intended to kill his wife in the attack

A former East Sussex town councillor has been jailed for 20 years for attempting to murder his wife.

Joseph O'Riordan, 74, an ex-councillor in Polegate, stabbed Amanda, 47, several times with a kitchen knife at their home in October 2014.

He had denied intending to kill her but was convicted by a jury at Brighton Magistrates' Court.

Sentencing, Judge Shani Barnes said: "I believe you did it to punish her and to stop her leaving you."

Mr O'Riordan had begun monitoring his wife's movements, e-mail and phone messages because he believed she was having an affair, the court heard.

'Callous'

The judge described a "sustained and repeated" attack in which O'Riordan "used his full strength and determination to try to kill" his wife.

"You picked the largest knife, and in a callous nature you thrust it into her. She screamed and begged you to stop."

After the attack, O'Riordan called 999 and his wife later underwent six hours of emergency surgery.

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Media captionThe former town councillor has been jailed for 20 years for attempting to murder Amanda O'Riordan.

Judge Barnes said she did not believe she had seen genuine remorse from O'Riordan, adding: "I have watched you every minute of this trial, and I've seen nothing. Absolutely nothing."

She spoke of Amanda's physical scars and also the "terrible, long-lasting psychological trauma" she has been left with.

The judge also revealed that O'Riordan had made attempts after his arrest to have his son remove evidence that would be incriminating - information which not been shared with the jury during the trial.

The defence did not put forward any evidence during the trial, which was held at the magistrates court due to a lack of space at Hove Crown Court.

O'Riordan had pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of wounding with intent, but this was rejected by prosecutors.

He will serve at least half of his 20 year sentence and was also given a restraining order.

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