A Twickenham man who left his wife with life-changing injuries after a “frenzied” and alcohol-fuelled attack, has been jailed for 22 years for her attempted murder.
William Clapperton, of Varsity Drive, told his wife “if she was ugly no one would want her anymore” after she revealed her intentions to end their marriage – prompting him to attack her with weapons including a chopping knife, scissors, and his own hands.
Jurors at the Old Bailey were told the victim had been forced to undergo multiple surgeries since the vicious attack, receiving treatment from ear nose and throat surgeons, plastic surgeons and facial surgeons – her injuries were considered too horrific to be shown in court.
Police were first called to reports of an injured woman on February 17 last year.
The court heard how in the early hours of that morning, Clapperton had carried out a sustained and frenzied armed attack on his wife at their home address.
The 58-year-old proceeded to cut up a large amount of his wife’s clothing while in an alcohol-fuelled rage, following her revelation that she intended to end their marriage.
He then subjected to hours of physical abuse with the clear intention of killing her.
Clapperton ignored his wife’s repeated pleas for him to stop as he proceeded to inflict significant injuries to her face, neck and body. She also was left with defensive injuries to her hands and arms.
Weapon used in the attempted murder
Nine months on from the attack, she continued to require ongoing surgery for her injuries.
The court went on to hear that at around 7.15am, the victim finally saw an opportunity to escape the property. She ran barefoot into the street where a member of public immediately called for an ambulance.
Police were notified by London Ambulance Service at around 7.40am and attended the scene, forcing entry to the property and arresting Clapperton at around 9.30am.
He was found with knife wounds to his chest and wrist and was taken to hospital for treatment. His injuries were later established to be self-inflicted wounds.
He was later further arrested for attempted murder and was sentenced on Friday (January 22) to 22 years imprisonment after being found guilty following an eight-day trial.
Her Honour Judge A Molyneux, remarked: “Mrs Clapperton required surgery and treatment from ear nose and throat surgeons, plastic surgeons and facial surgeons. She will require further surgery in future, and her eye socket will be a source of ongoing difficulty and risk to her sight.
“The psychological harm you have caused is severe.
“She feels broken inside and out. She continues to have nightmares. She cannot sleep without sleeping aids. She no longer has a shred of confidence or any idea of how to rebuild it. She is petrified and paranoid and in a permanent state of alert. Since you attacked her, she feels barely alive.
“She is unable to work due to the injury to her wrist. She has no work, no money and no permanent housing. Your actions have devastated the life of a beautiful woman.”
Inspector Darren Young from the Met’s West Area Public Protection team, said: “I hope this sentence reassures victims of domestic abuse that we are still here to help and support you during the pandemic.
“The investigating officer, Detective Constable David Payne and his team, like all safeguarding teams across the Met, continue to work relentlessly to achieve justice and provide support to victims of domestic violence and this was no exception. This is what motivates us and as always, our teams best wishes remain with the victim.
“Domestic abuse is something that is still largely hidden within our society with victims struggling to report it for a number of reasons. There are so many incredible charities working to intervene when people are at the point of crisis and able to provide immediate support to victims – we would like to thank Advance Charity and Victim Support for their care and professional support over the past months.”
Detective Constable David Payne from the Met’s West Area Public Protection team, added: “I would like to again pay tribute to the victim who has shown remarkable strength and courage throughout this investigation following this very traumatic experience. This case serves to highlight our dedication to apprehending and bringing domestic violence offenders to justice and we can feel reassured that a dangerous offender is now safely where he belongs.”
If you are experiencing domestic abuse or you know a friend, relative or neighbour who you think is at risk, call police right away. In an emergency, always call 999 – high harm domestic abuse calls will continue to be prioritised.
The 24/7 National Domestic Abuse helpline, which offers support to victims and people affected by domestic abuse, is free to call on 0808 2000 247.
For more information and advice, go to https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse