Leicester

Builder who stabbed ex-partner guilty of murder

Kevin Sainsbury and Karen Brookes
Image caption The court heard Sainsbury had difficulties accepting the end of the relationship

A Leicestershire builder who stabbed his ex-partner to death with a chisel as she sat in her car near her workplace has been convicted of murder.

Kevin Sainsbury, 51, of Hinckley Road, Stoney Stanton, had claimed he had only meant to punch Karen Brookes, 37.

But Nottingham Crown Court heard he had previously been charged with making threats against the mother-of-two and had been ordered to stay away from her.

Sainsbury, found guilty by a unanimous verdict, will be sentenced on Friday.

Diary entries

The court heard he had trouble accepting that their 15-year relationship had ended in April 2009.

Excerpts of Ms Brookes' diary were read out in court. One of the last entries said Sainsbury was: "A violent man with the potential to kill himself and me."

On 12 November 2009 he confronted her as she parked near her place of work in Barwell, forced his way into her car, then stabbed her three times in the chest.

During the nine-day trial the jury of six men and six women were told Sainsbury had been on bail at the time of the attack after being charged on a previous occasion with harassment and threatening to kill Ms Brookes.

Sainsbury accepted he was responsible for the attack but claimed he thought he was using the handle of the chisel.

In a statement, Ms Brookes' family said they felt she had been let down by the justice system before her death and that Sainsbury should not have been released from custody to destroy so many lives.

As the guilty verdict was announced in court there were cries of "yes" from the public gallery, while the victim's sister wept uncontrollably.

In a brief statement, 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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