A 33-year-old man has been handed a life sentence for the murder of Diana Dafter.
At the end of a trial at Northampton Crown Court on April 26, a jury took just two hours to convict Phillip Dafter, previously of Northampton, of his wife’s murder, which happened on October 7, 2022.
That morning, he stabbed 36-year-old Diana a number of times at their home in Lawrence Court, Northampton, using such force that the blade of the knife broke.
CCTV footage showed Dafter then driving his car to the nearby Asda to purchase a new set of kitchen knives before returning home where Diana now lay dead and using one of the knives to stab himself several times.
He then drove to Northampton train station with multiple self-inflicted wounds where he boarded a train to London Euston, staying on the train once it had arrived at its destination and telling the train conductor that he needed to speak to the police.
“Why?” the conductor asked.
“Because I am evil and a bad man,” Dafter replied.
The British Transport Police were called and Dafter would go on to tell them he had killed Diana before he was taken to hospital.
Officers from Northamptonshire Police deployed to Lawrence Court and found Diana’s body. She had been stabbed five times and a post-mortem examination carried out two days later at the Leicester Royal Infirmary found she had died from a single stab wound to the heart.
During the trial, Dafter denied murder, arguing loss of control and diminished responsibility, however the jury did not accept his defence, taking just two hours to convict him of murder.
Today (July 25), he returned to the same court where he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 20 years.
Addressing Phillip Dafter in his sentencing remarks, His Honour Judge David Herbert KC said: “You picked up a knife in the kitchen and attacked your wife with murderous intent.
“Those last minutes of her life would have been utterly terrifying.
““You violated the trust and security of your marriage and murdered Diana Dafter in her own home. It was a sustained attack and you did nothing to help her, nor call the emergency services.”
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury, said: “Today, it’s really important to recognise that Diana Dafter was, and is, so much more than this man’s victim.
“She was a loving person, daughter and friend. A student nurse with a real passion for care, hardworking, and someone very easy to get along with.
“Her life and bright future was cut short by Phillip Dafter in a violent and prolonged attack and though today’s sentence will be of little comfort to her family and those that loved her, I hope it will help them to know that the man who did this will now spend an exceptionally long time in prison.
“This is an utterly tragic case and a stark reminder of why tackling violence against women and girls remains a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police.
“My thoughts remain with Diana’s family and I hope today has also offered them some semblance of closure after this lengthy court process.
“Finally, I would like to thank everyone at Northamptonshire Police for their work on this investigation as well as our colleagues at the British Transport Police for their assistance. Together we have secured justice for Diana and put her killer - Phillip Dafter, where he belongs - behind bars.”