Life for control-freak murderer — (The Yorkshire Post)

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The Yorkshire Post

Published Tuesday 27 July 2004

Judge describes defendant as ‘a danger to women’ Olwen Dudgeon

A CONTROL freak stabbed his former girlfriend to death in a frenzied attack after she began another relationship, a judge heard yesterday.

Anthony Goldthorpe had bullied and dominated Ann Wells during their six-year affair and wanted her back when she started seeing someone else after it was over for them, Leeds Crown Court was told.

On July 15 last year he was waiting for her to return home, and within seconds of being left alone with her, he grabbed a carving knife from his car and attacked her.

Rodney Jameson QC prosecuting said Mrs Wells, 47, a mother of two, was stabbed at least 18 times, including 11 into her chest. She died from her injuries.

It was not the first time Goldthorpe had been violent to a former partner.

In 1991 he was sentenced to four years in prison after he struck another ex-girlfriend with a hammer, fracturing her skull.

Goldthorpe, 47, of Crescent Gardens, Moortown, Leeds, was jailed for life yesterday after he admitted the murder of Mrs Wells, of Bedford Gardens, Tinshill, Leeds.

Ordering he serve a minimum of 12 years before he could be considered for release, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Norman Jones QC said it was a savage attack and he told him: “I consider you a man who presents a danger to women.

“I’m satisfied you were a dominating and controlling man who could not come to terms with a woman close to you having a will of her own.”

Mr Jameson said when Mrs Wells returned home with her son that day, he was anxious for her but she told him she would be all right so he left her with Goldthorpe.

“That unfortunately was to prove all too wrong,” he said.

She met Goldthorpe in 1997 and friends and relatives noticed a change in her personality after that. She lacked confidence, had low esteem, was treated for depression and described in her diaries feeling suicidal at times.

Mr Jameson said: “The Crown say the defendant dominated and bullied her throughout their relationship.”

When it ended in about March last year, a change for the better was noted in Mrs Wells, he said. Within a few months her doctor recorded she was feeling much more positive and she began seeing another man who was devoted to her.

But she continued to receive phone calls and text messages from Goldthorpe who, on July 13, pretended he was going to commit suicide, climbing a tree in Meanwood and putting a rope around his neck threatening to hang himself.

After coming down when police arrived, he admitted to a doctor he had no real intention of killing himself and said it was a ruse to get her attention.

She did send a text message asking if he was okay and on July 15 he went to her home and they spoke together. She subsequently left to pick up her son and found him waiting outside again when she got back.

Guy Kearl QC for Goldthorpe said he regretted what had happened. He had been taking Prozac for depression and been referred to a psychiatrist but had not then been seen. He had since been diagnosed with a personality disorder and had genuinely attempted suicide.

He said it was Mrs Wells who had initially been keen to resume the relationship in the early months after their split, but he had also hoped up to the fateful afternoon that their was a chance for them.

After the case Det Insp Ian Green described Goldthorpe as a “control freak.”

“He couldn’t accept when any relationship was over and was a danger to any woman who became involved with him,” he said.