A jealous thug who stabbed his former partner to death in her home while their three children were in the house has been jailed for life.
Alex Staines, 30, stabbed Christie Frewin, 25, in a horrific knife attack at her home in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, at around 9.20am on January 27.
Staines, who was later charged with murder and possession of a bladed article, stabbed Ms Frewin a total of 17 times in what was described in court as a ‘frenzied and murderous’ attack.
Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to murder and having a bladed article and was told he would have to serve a minimum term of 22 years before he could be considered for parole.
Alex Staines (pictured), 30, stabbed his former partner a total of 17 times in what was described in court as a ‘frenzied and murderous’ attack
Christie Frewin, 25, was killed after Staines entered her home in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, at around 9.20am on January 27
The court heard that on the morning of January 27, Staines arrived at Ms Frewin’s home at 8.25am and was seen going in – only to leave six minutes later.
Staines attacked Ms Frewin, almost immediately after entering her home with large kitchen knife, a court heard.
Five of the wounds were to her face, six wounds were inflicted to her neck and there was also a cut to her throat.
Staines, who handed himself in to police later that morning at Hatfield police station, also inflicted fatal injuries to her wrist and across her arm where she had a tattoo of his name.
Jailing him, Judge Michael Kay QC told Staines: ‘Christie was very young when you met and over the years you exercised coercive abuse and control over her.’
The judge said Ms Frewin had ended their relationship in 2018, but he noted Staines had told her on one occasion he would kill her and the children.
‘You believed she had no right to lead her own life’ the judge told Staines, adding that he had been jealous of any new boyfriend in her life.
Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said it was clear in the hours leading up to the attack, Staines had formed a ‘serious plan’ to harm his former partner and her children ‘because she had been speaking to other men.’
After stabbing Ms Frewin, Staines left the house and made at least two phone calls – including one to his father – but in neither call did he tell anyone the children were alone in the house with their mother.
They were discovered when someone who was concerned for Ms Frewin’s welfare, rang her mobile phone which was answered by one of the children who raised the alarm.
The court heard that Staines physically and emotionally abused Ms Frewin after entering a relationship with her in 2013.
Following Ms Frewin’s death, flowers and cars were laid outside the mother’s home
Ms Frewin’s family described her as the ‘most kind’ and ‘loving’ mother who ‘always put on the bravest face for her three most beautiful children. Pictured: A tribute left outside Ms Frewin’s home
Forensic teams outside the property in Hertfordshire this year following the horrific attack
Due to his harassment of her, Ms Frewin came to the notice of the authorities and was provided with an emergency mobile phone to call for assistance if she felt at risk from Staines.
By January of this year Staines was on bail for an assault on Ms Frewin.
The day before her death, Staines spoke to a male friend of the young mother, telling him he would not have his ‘baby mother’.
Mr Mulgrew said in the hours that followed Staines began making preparations for what he was going to do, leaving some of his property with another girlfriend and asking a friend to look after his dog.
Judge Kay jailed Staines for life and told him he would have to serve a minimum term behind bars of 22 years and 58 days before he could be considered for parole.
He said it was not known for sure if the children had witnessed the killing of their mother, but he said it was likely they would have heard her screams
Staines was told when he is released he will be on licence for the rest of his life.
Following Ms Frewin’s death, her family paid tribute to the ‘most kind’ and ‘loving’ mother who ‘always put on the bravest face for her three most beautiful children.’
In a statement her family said: ‘Christie had so many amazing qualities. She was the sweetest, most kind, loving sister, daughter and mother to her children that we could have ever asked for.
‘We always had each other through everything. She loved so hard and no matter what Christie was facing she always put on the bravest face for her three most beautiful children.
‘I feel robbed and gutted. She was so strong and I hope she is only ever remembered for the brave and gentle soul she was. She is truly loved and missed.
‘I love you for ever and always baby girl. Until we meet again princess.’