Man jailed for life for killing ex-girlfriend he’d met again on Facebook

10/12/2014

A man who stabbed and killed a woman he’d rekindled a relationship with over Facebook has been jailed for life.

David Hoyle, 39, repeatedly stabbed Rebecca Bamber, 43, on the  morning of Sunday 8 June after the couple had spent the night together at her home in Mersey Road, Widnes.
A neighbour raised the alarm when he heard screams coming from the house and then saw Ms Bamber, at her window, covered in blood, mouthing "Phone the Police".
Chester Crown Court heard that the neighbour rang 999 and went round to the back of the house and saw Hoyle, who's from Bradford, in the garden with Ms Bamber.
She had collapsed on the ground and he was standing over her with a knife. The neighbour went back to his own house to find something to defend himself with.
He stayed on the line to the call handler and went back to the garden but Hoyle had gone.
As he went back outside, he saw Hoyle drive away from the scene, and, chillingly, smile at him as he passed.
The neighbour gave the 999 call handler the registration number of the van and then went back into the house to see if anyone else was there.
A woman from a nearby shop came over to see what was happening and the neighbour asked her to press some material onto Ms Bamber's wounds to stop the blood.
The 999 call with CCTV images from the scene was played to the jury. They could see Hoyle calmly leaving the murder scene as the neighbour waited for the police.
The neighbour was clearly distressed, breathing heavily, telling Ms Bamber , "it's all right Becky, I'm here, the police are on their way, it's all right darling, stay awake".
Police caught up with Hoyle near to the Runcorn Bridge but he rammed their vehicles and moved off onto the M56, where he was again stopped and Tasered. He was arrested, made no comment in interview and was said to be calm throughout.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter but the Crown Prosecution Service insisted he be tried for murder and the jury found him guilty.
The judge ordered Hoyle must serve a minimum of 25 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.
Richard Riley, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service has worked on the case from the beginning.
He said: "Hoyle subjected Ms. Bamber to a brutal and sustained attack and clearly intended to do her really serious harm.
"Hoyle's claim that he hadn't meant to kill her was ridiculous - she'd  been stabbed 11 times with two different knives and three broken bottles.
"The jury dismissed these claims and has found Hoyle guilty of murder.
"I would like to thank Ms. Bamber's neighbour for the courage he showed throughout this dreadful incident. His 999 call was the key to putting a very dangerous man behind bars."