Man guilty of attempted murder of ex-partner

Mick Ferris
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A man who subjected his ex-partner to a chilling attack outside her own home has been found guilty of her attempted murder.

It follows an investigation led by Chelmsford’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Team (DAIT) with support from the Domestic Abuse Problem Solving Team (DAPST) and our partner, Next Chapter, a charity who support victims of domestic abuse.

Earlier this week, on Monday November 15, a jury found the man guilty following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

In April, David Richards, 41, of no fixed abode, ambushed the woman late at night as she was letting her dogs out into her garden.

Richards dragged her inside a building on the property in Stock, where she was bound and attacked with a hatchet.

While Richards stepped out to try and find the woman’s phone, she was able to free herself, run back to her children, lock her doors and call for help.

She received life-changing injuries to her head and spent days recovering in hospital.

Despite the doors being locked, Richards continued to terrify the family by attempting to force entry into the property. Unable to get in, he fled in his car but was traced by police shortly after.

Richards failed to pull over when directed to stop, driving at speeds of over 90mph in an attempt to evade arrest. Following a pursuit, he was brought to a stop near Ipswich and arrested for attempted murder.

He was charged a few days later and has been remanded in custody since.

Richards denied trying to kill the woman but it took a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court only three hours to convict him of her attempted murder. He was also found guilty of breaching a non-molestation order.

He will be sentenced at the same court on Wednesday December 21.

If you or someone you know needs help, there is support available to you

If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from abuse, stalking or harassment, please report it.

If you need to speak to police urgently but fear someone may overhear, call 999 and press 55 when instructed to do so. This will alert the operator that you’re in a dangerous situation and need help.

If you’re concerned by your partner’s behaviour or someone else’s relationship, Clare’s Law also allows people who think they may have, or know of, a violent partner to request information about them.

Further information can also be found on the police website Advice about domestic abuse | Essex Police and if it will help you stay safe, please clear your search history afterwards.

If you would like advice or support and aren’t ready to speak to police, their partners are also here to help

Next Chapter Next Chapter ( (formerly known as Colchester & Tendring Women’s Refuge) is a domestic abuse charity working across the areas of Tendring, Colchester, Maldon, Chelmsford, Braintree & Uttlesford. They provide free and confidential services to support people who are currently experiencing, or have previously experienced domestic abuse.

Visit the website Support organisations for victims of domestic violence | Essex Police to find other partners in the area that can offer support.

Make an anonymous report

If you would like to make an anonymous report you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers, by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.

Mick Ferris

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