21 year jail sentence for man who attacked former girlfriend with an axe in her Kempston home

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court

A man who launched an axe attack on his former girlfriend in her Kempston home when she told him she wanted some space was today (Tuesday) given a sentence of 21 years and eight months.

Jealous Charlie Arnold, 21, had completed a domestic violence rehabilitation just weeks before the mindless and brutal assault, which left the victim with permanent scars and a dent in the back of her head.

Arnold of Conway Crescent, Bedford appeared for sentence at Luton crown court, having pleaded guilty to attempting to murder the 20-year-old woman and causing actual bodily harm to her step-father.

He received a jail sentence of 16 years eight months with a five-year extension, meaning he can be recalled to prison on his release at any time up to until he is 42 years old.

Prosecutor Stefan Weidmann said that Arnold and the victim had been in an on-off “turbulent” relationship for four years.

On 9 December 2020 he made threats to kill her saying: “I am going to enjoy f……. caving your head in.”

Arnold went on a Change Plus domestic violence course and on 9 March 2021 was told no criminal proceedings would take place against him.

On 19 April last year he went to the victim’s home while she was taking a nap. Her mother allowed him in on the understanding there would be no arguing.

The victim, who was seeing somebody else, told Arnold she wanted some space. She said she wanted to have a healthy new start and to go to university. He told her he was depressed.

She said he made a weird face, and calmly got a pair of gloves from his pocket. “I said: ‘What are you going to do, kill me?’”

He pulled an axe from his jogging bottoms and stared at her. She ran to the door, but he pushed her against it and hit her on the head with the axe.

Arnold followed her around the room as she tried to run away. He continued to hit her with the axe and she ended up curled in a ball on the floor.

She said he hit her at least 10 times.  “I screamed and I knew I couldn’t do anything. I was thinking this is is genuinely how I die,” she said in her statement.

Her step-father and mother heard her screams. The step-dad got Arnold in a headlock and grabbed the axe. As they struggled he suffered a cut to his upper left arm. He managed to disarm Arnold, who then calmly walked out of the door.

They saw the victim’s grey jumper was completely soaked in her blood.

Arnold went to his mother’s home where he called 999 and said: “I have tried to kill someone and I want to hand myself in.”

Mr Weidmann said Arnold’s brother had contacted the police earlier that day because he was concerned for his welfare.

Officers saw Arnold at a gym. He said he had been in a low mood, but was feeling better telling them: “I am going to finish my workout and chill with my mates.”

In a victim personal statement, she said she now lives in a constant state of impending doom. She said she hates the appearance of scars on her hands and left arm and can still feel a dent in the back of her head.

The woman said: “I still picture his face as he was hacking away at me with the axe.”

Defending, Chantelle Stocks said Arnold was supported by his family and friends. She said: “He is a vulnerable young man with a complex history of mental health.”

He had been diagnosed with cannabis use disorder and was genuinely remorseful, she said.

Ms Stocks said he had no previous convictions and was young and immature at the time.

Judge Lynn Tayton QC said: “She does not understand why you did this to her. You took an axe and gloves to the scene and planned to kill her.”

The judge said Arnold was found to have borderline personality disorder and cannabis use disorder.

Arnold was given a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim, her mother or stepfather.

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