Life sentence over Bexhill murder of young mother

26/07/2016

A man who stabbed his former girlfriend to death in her flat in Bexhill with their two young children in the house has been sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 24 years.

Paul Withers was convicted of the murder of Lauren Masters in August 2015, following a trial at Hove Crown Court. He stabbed her more than 20 times before leaving her to bleed to death in her kitchen. She managed to call an ambulance, but could not be saved.

Just before the attack, Withers texted two friends to ask where he could get a gun.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East Jaswant Narwal said: "This was an appallingly brutal attack, with the defendant even admitting to a friend afterwards that he had kept stabbing Lauren, but she wouldn't die. Rather than helping her by calling an ambulance after carrying out this callous attack, he left the scene, with his two young children in the house alone with their dying mother.

She added: "Sadly, from the evidence, it is clear Lauren was the victim of domestic abuse in the weeks leading up to her murder. Withers was controlling, demanding to know where Lauren was and she complained to friends about his behaviour and attitude. Just before her murder, Lauren even threatened to get a restraining order in a text she sent him. It is tragic how this escalated in such a sudden and horrific way and led to the loss of a young mother's life."