Ex-soldier jailed for trying to kill wife in Kent blast

Image caption,
Nicholas Fabian was a reservist and had been called up to go to Afghanistan

A former soldier has been jailed for life for trying to murder his pregnant wife by blowing up her car with a grenade.

Victoria Fabian, 33, suffered severe leg injuries when the weapon exploded in Vigo, Kent, in March 2010.

Her eight-year-old son, also in the car, and her unborn child were unhurt.

Nicholas Fabian, 33, was found guilty of attempted murder at Maidstone Crown Court. He was told he would serve at least 16 years.

He was also given a 15-year sentence for the explosion charge, to run concurrently.

'Wicked beyond belief'

Detectives believe he tried to kill Mrs Fabian so he could start a new life with his mistress.

Judge Andrew Patience QC told him: "What you did in causing that explosion, with the consequences which flowed from it on 5 March last year, was wicked beyond belief.

"You conceived a plan to rid yourself of your wife which demonstrated low cunning in its planning and preparation, and utter heartlessness and chilling ruthlessness in its execution.

"You are an evil man who was prepared to destroy at least one human life in order to achieve your own selfish ends.

"Not only are you evil but you present a danger to the general public."

The judge said it was inevitable that his son would find out in later life that he tried to harm him when he was unborn and Mrs Fabian faced a lifetime of physical pain.

In a statement, Mrs Fabian said: "The last year has been an unimaginable nightmare for me and my family, especially the children.

"And although it is important that Nicholas will pay for this unimaginable crime, we all still have to live with his actions for the rest of our lives.

She added: "It has been very difficult and upsetting listening through the trial and shocking to hear some of the evidence given.

"I could never imagine how someone I loved could want to harm me and his children in such a callous way.

"I hope that we will have the peace and time to put our lives back together."

Fabian, who served in the Army between 1994 and 2004, was a reservist and had been called up to complete a tour of Afghanistan in January 2010.

'Safeguard weapons'

During the trial the court was told he stole a hand grenade from a firing range during weapons training in north Yorkshire.

Examinations at the scene suggested the grenade was strapped inside the car's wheel arch.

On Thursday the Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a statement, which said: "We take our duty to safeguard ammunition and weapons extremely seriously and a vigorous control regime is in place.

"We cannot discuss security controls in detail, but all facilities are inspected to ensure they are suitable and secure and we conduct thorough investigations to learn lessons from any incident.

"Action will be taken if evidence shows potential improvements to security."

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