Jealous man guilty of stabbing ex-partner's boyfriend 17 times

|News, Violent crime

Ashley Luff, 32, from Fareham, was today found guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court of the attempted murder of Nathan Birch who was attacked after leaving work on 19 August 2018, in Fareham.

Ashley Luff had been with his ex-girlfriend in an on/off relationship for five years splitting up about a week before she started seeing Nathan Birch.

The jury at Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Ashley Luff went to a bar, where Nathan Birch and his ex-girlfriend were, after seeing them kissing on a live Facebook stream. He made threats to Nathan Birch, saying that he should watch his back and that he would 'get him'.

A couple of days later, a call from a withheld number was made to Nathan Birch's place of work enquiring whether he was working and when he would be working next. Nathan Birch's manager rightly told the caller to speak to Nathan himself.

Evidence showed that Ashley Luff had messaged Nathan Birch saying that he would "do what it takes to be with her".

Simon Jones from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Ashley Luff was consumed by jealousy and rage. He could not accept that his ex-girlfriend had moved on and therefore took extreme measures to stop Nathan Birch seeing her.

"Ashley Luff stabbed him relentlessly in a frenzied attack. There was no doubt that his intention was to kill and thankfully, Nathan Birch managed to escape and survived this brutal attack."

Building the case

Simon Jones from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The Crown Prosecution Service had to prove that this was a premeditated and violent attack.

"The evidence presented to the jury at Portsmouth Crown Court showed that he had enquired as to the victim's whereabouts, sent threatening messages and waited for the opportune moment when Nathan Birch had finished his shift at the restaurant where he was working.

"He had pre-armed himself with a knife and waited for Nathan Birch, who was riding his bike on his way home. He derailed him and launched a brutal attack, stabbing the victim 17 times, to his neck, back, chest and arms, puncturing his lung, before fleeing the scene.

"There is no doubt that Nathan Birch could have died from his injuries, had he had not managed to escape and seek medical help.

"Ashley Luff claimed he acted in self-defence however there was no evidence to support his claims.

"The jury heard both the prosecution and defence cases and found him guilty of attempted murder."

"We hope that with this verdict, Nathan Birch and his girlfriend will now be able to move on with their lives."

Notes to editors

  • Simon Jones is a Crown Advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex
  • Ashley Luff's date of birth is 14/08/1986


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