Washington husband stabbed wife 24 times in front of son

John Barron.
John Barron.
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A husband tried to murder his wife in a frenzied knife attack which left her with 24 stab wounds when she told him their relationship was over.

John Barron started to strangle wife Susan in their bed then used two knives to inflict horrific wounds across her body, arms, legs and neck.

I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life, thinking wherever I go, I am going to come across him.

Susan Barron

The 34-year-old, who had “wide eyes and looked crazy” during the violence, continued the stabbing even when police officers smashed their way into the house, armed with CS gas.

When he eventually stopped using the knife on his 50-year-old wife, Barron calmly asked for a cigarette.

At the police station, Barron said his victim, who he had been married to for eight years, “had a demon coming out of her mouth” and confessed: “It should be murder, I was going to kill her.”

Barron, who claimed to have taken 100 valium in the hours before the attack, sunk his teeth into one custody officer and threatened he was going to slit the throat of another.

Mrs Barron, who was left slumped in her blood soaked kitchen, told police at the scene “help please, he’s stabbed me all over, I cant breathe”.

She needed emergency surgery and follow-up operations to her injuries after the terrifying violence last November.

She told police in a statement: “I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.”

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Barron, of Avon Terrace, Washington, Wearside, was jailed for 15 years with a five year extended licence period.

Barron, who has been banned from any further contact with his wife and her adult son, pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Judge Paul Sloan QC told him: “This was over a prolonged period, the stress and trauma of the attack itself will have been considerable and, in my judgement, will have a profound effect and lasting effect.

“During the attack Mrs Barron honestly believed she was going to die.

“You pose a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm being occasioned by the commission of further offences.

“Your immediate reaction to what your wife said was to try and strangle her. You then went downstairs, armed yourself with two knives and carried out a sustained and prolonged attack which caused her great distress and suffering at the time.”

The court heard the night before the attack last November Barron had been picked up by the police for acting suspiciously - and downed a batch of drugs he had been carrying in a bid to hide them from the officers.

He was taken to hospital for assessment then driven home by the police.

The court heard it was early the next morning Mrs Barron told her husband, who has a number of previous convictions, she had “had enough” and their marriage was over.

Proscutor Jolyon Perks told the court: “He reacted by jumping on top of her, pinning her to the bed, he began strangling her, with both hands around her neck.”

The court heard the strangling stopped when Mrs Barron screamed for help from her grown up son.

But the violence continued when Barron picked up two knives when he got downstairs.

Mr Perks said: “He stabbed her with the knife in his right hand while pinning her to the wall with his left arm, striking her at least four or five blows.

“Her son was shouting at him ‘just leave her alone, please stop it’.”

The court heard Barron continued the stabbing while his wife’s son, who had repeatedly tried to stop the attack, ran out of the house for help.

When the police arrived at the house they could see through the window there was “blood all over the floor” .

Mr Perks said: “One officer looked through the kitchen window and saw the defendant standing over the top of Susan Barron, who was on the floor in the corner of the kitchen, making a thrusting motion with repetition, consistent with repeatedly stabbing her.

“The officer witnessed five stab wounds at that point.”

The court heard Barron continued ignoring the presence of the officers and continued with the stabbing “with no expression on his face” until the kitchen window was smashed and the police came in.

Mr Perks added: “An officer withdrew his CS spray, pointed it towards the defendant and told him to put the knife down.

“The defendant looked at he officer, walked back over to Susan Barron and stabbed her again in the chest.”

After walking away from his seriously injured wife, Barron asked a police officer “can I have a rollie”.

Mrs Barron said in impact statement: “I will be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life, thinking wherever I go, I am going to come across him.

“I have a re-occurring nightmare, I re-live the attack, I wake up feeling I am being strangled.

“I now know how precious life is.”

The court heard Mrs Barron and her son have both been referred for counselling after their ordeals.

Bob Spragg, defending Barron, said: “The first thing the defendant asks me to do is express considerable remorse for what he has done.

“He has lost the love of his life.

“He understands there is no way back. He wishes to assure the victim in this case there will be no further contact, either with her or her child, and simply by his guilty plea, and through me, wishes to apologise for what he has done.”

The court heard Barron, who had a troubled childhood, remembers little about the attack that night.