A man who equipped himself with gloves and an axe before visiting his ex-girlfriend in a bid to kill her has been sentenced to more than 16 years behind bars.
Charlie Arnold, 21, of Conway Crescent, Bedford, was sentenced on Tuesday (21 June) at Luton Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to attempted murder and actual bodily harm.
Arnold was with his ex-partner for four years before the relationship broke down.
On 19 April last year he turned up at the victim’s home where he was allowed in for a conversation.
During this conversation the victim reaffirmed they had no future together but wished him well and told him about her plans to move forward and gain further education.
The victim said he then started to ‘calmly’ put gloves on and, unaware of his intentions, she anxiously made a joke along the lines of “are you going to kill me?” as he had previously made such threats.
To the victim’s horror he then pulled out an axe and launched his attack, repeatedly striking the victim’s head and arms as she tried to defend herself.
The victims’ parents heard screaming and helped to disarm Arnold, before he subsequently fled the property.
The victim was severely injured, and has been left with significant scaring and continues to suffer as a result of the attack to this day.
After the attack, Arnold went to his mother’s home where he called 999 and said: “I have tried to kill someone”.
In a victim personal statement the victim said: “I am now particularly cautious around men and often find myself becoming anxious if someone does something I am unsure of, even small things like if I notice a change in someone’s facial expressions, a change of walking pace or especially when someone picks up a utensil such a knife even when it is, for example, to simply chop up food.
“For months after the incident I would have nightmares about him and what he did to me. I would wake in panic and often be tearful and feel physically sick because of the trauma.”
Arnold received a sentence of 16 years and eight months with a five-year extension, meaning he can be recalled to prison.
He was also given a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim, her mother or stepfather.
Detective Constable Brendan Street, investigating, said: “This was a planned attack. Arnold carried gloves and an axe with him and intended to cause serious harm and distress.
“If not for the timely intervention of the victim’s parents the outcome could have been even worse. I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of the victim and her family throughout this ordeal and court process, and am glad justice has now been served.”
Bedfordshire Police is committed to tackling all forms of domestic abuse and violence against women and girls and will do everything possible to see dangerous and violent perpetrators held accountable for their actions.
The force has dedicated officers who are committed to providing care and support to victims throughout the criminal justice process and will leave no stone unturned in getting support and justice for victims of abuse.