A “DANGEROUS and violent” ex-serviceman who murdered his wife in front of two children has been jailed for life.
Craig Woodhall (41), of Windsor Crescent, Middlecliffe, stabbed Victoria Woodhall (31), who worked at Rotherham Hospital, in the street with a Ghurka knife as horrified neighbours looked on.
Woodhall was jailed for a minimum term of 18-and-a-half years at Sheffield Crown Court today (Friday).
He stabbed his estranged wife, who worked as an operating department practitioner, multiple times during a sustained attack on Sunday, March 29 this year.
At 4.55pm, members of the public began calling 999 after Woodhall chased Victoria from their property into the street, before attacking her with a Ghurka-style machete known as a kukri.
In an emotional statement, Victoria’s father David Mason told the court: “No words of mine are sufficient to convey the devastation that my family have suffered in the aftermath of Victoria’s death.
“Craig Woodhall robbed us of our beautiful, talented daughter.
“No sentence imposed by this court can bring Victoria back.”
Woodhall pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on September 19.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.
Sentencing Woodhall, Judge Jeremy Richardson said: “You have devastated the lives of the entire family.
“You brutally and relentlessly stabbed her with a kukri.
“Victoria lay on the ground, defenceless against the ferocity of your actions with that murderous weapon.
“Your conduct may only be characterised as merciless, determined, sustained and savage in the extreme.”
Following the sentencing, Victoria’s family released a statement which said: “No sentence the judge could have handed down today can bring Vicky back to her family, nor compensate for the terrible pain we are suffering.
“We would urge anyone who is suffering domestic violence, or who thinks someone they know may be, to tell someone about it.
“We hope this message might save even one other family from having to endure the nightmare we have endured following Vicky’s murder.”
Speaking after sentencing, Senior Investigating Officer Det Insp Ben Wood said: “Once more I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Victoria’s family and friends, as they try to process the loss of their loved one.
“Woodhall is a dangerous, violent individual and I am pleased he has been handed a lengthy prison term for his crime.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise the efforts of the investigative team of officers and staff who worked tirelessly on this case as well as those officers who first attended the scene; all have shown compassion and professionalism throughout.
“Their relentless commitment to securing justice for Victoria and her family has led to a successful conviction for a very serious crime.
“To the witnesses at the scene, I also extend my thanks. You saw something truly horrific, but were so helpful with our initial enquiries and supportive throughout our investigation.
“I hope the wider community are also reassured by the swift action taken by police officers to apprehend Woodhall and bring him before the courts.”