Man jailed for 17 years for assaulting and imprisoning wife and setting fire to their home


A man who imprisoned his wife for three days and attacked her with a knife and an axe before setting fire to their home, has been jailed for 17 years.

 Liverpool Crown Court heard that David Churchill, 52, imprisoned his wife June, 52, the day after he'd been arrested for assaulting her in a row over a television.

Churchill, who is a taxi driver, had been released on bail on condition that he didn't contact her or go to the house they shared in Norfolk Road in Maghull.

But he went straight to the house as he left the police station. Mrs Churchill woke to hear her front door being smashed and then saw her husband standing over her with an axe.

He bound, gagged and blindfolded her and dragged her to the bathroom.

He then repeatedly attacked her with an axe and rusty Stanley knife. Mrs Churchill begged him not to kill her. Her husband kept her bound up for a further two days, blaming her for what he was doing.

He eventually took her to the Royal Liverpool Hospital in his taxi so she could be treated but not before he had set fire to their home. He told her not to tell anyone what had happened

His neighbours were woken by a group of young men who were passing by, telling them to get out as the house next door was on fire.

Mr Churchill was arrested after he handed himself in at St Anne Street Police Station. He asked officers, "How is she doing -  will she be OK?" and "Am I the worst criminal you have caught that was so easy to lock up?"

Mrs Churchill told staff at the hospital who were treating her wounds that her husband had inflicted them.

Churchill pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment and arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered. He also pleaded guilty to production of cannabis.

Iain Criddle from Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service said: "Churchill is a violent man who inflicted terrible injuries on his own wife.

"He had already been charged with assaulting her and, despite, a court order preventing him from doing so, went back to the family home, caused her serious injury and imprisoned her for three days.

"Churchill also put the lives of other people in the road in danger when he set fire to the house.

"I would like to thank those neighbours for their help in this case and also the courage of Mrs Churchill for telling the authorities what had happened and bringing this man to justice."