A UK man who killed and almost decapitated his girlfriend while he was four times the drink-drive limit, has been jailed for six years after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The defence for James Richardson, who is an alcoholic, argued that his condition had a substantial impact on his actions. He was sentenced on Friday (2 October) at the Old Bailey in London.
Richardson, 35, launched a brutal attack on his Polish girlfriend Natalia Czekaj as the couple celebrated the New Year at their Edgware home on 6 January 2015. He stabbed the 34-year-old barmaid with a kitchen knife repeatedly before he attempted to decapitate her by sawing into her neck. The couple, who were both described as functioning alcoholics, had been together for four years.
He was told he must serve a six-year custodial sentence and five years on licence, during which time he will be supervised and receive help with his alcohol addiction. His plea was accepted by prosecutor Tim Cray QC, after a medical report recognised alcoholism as a medical condition that substantially impaired his responsibility.
During the trial, his lawyer told the court that although Richardson could not remember the killing "his remorse and shock have been wholly genuine".
Det Insp Simon Pickford, of the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "This is a tragic case, Natalia died during a frenzied attack, which may have been fuelled by Richardson's dependency on alcohol. Richardson will have time to think about the consequences of his actions behind bars."