A former soldier who stabbed his wife to death in such a frenzy that the blade snapped, then boarded a train to London, was convicted of her murder today.
Cheating Phillip Dafter, 32, killed Diana Dafter, 36, on October 7, 2022 in a ‘moment of madness’ after the couple rowed over getting their car MOT’d, a court heard.
On Wednesday, jurors at Northampton Crown Court took just two hours to convict Dafter – who was arrested at London Euston station after telling a conductor he needed to speak to police because he was an ‘evil and bad man’.
Prosecutor Gordon Aspen QC said the couple had been on the brink of divorce after Mrs Dafter discovered he had been messaging a younger woman in their Malawian homeland, following previous infidelities.
Dafter took a train to London after stabbing Diana five times in their Northampton flat. After other passengers departed at Euston, a conductor came along to help the unsteady Dafter onto the platform.
Former soldier Philip Dafter, 33, who stabbed his wife to death in such a frenzy that the blade snapped, then boarded a train to London, was convicted of her murder on Wednesday
Cheating Phillip Dafter, 32, killed Diana Dafter, 36, (pictured) on October 7, 2022 in a ‘moment of madness’ after the couple rowed over getting their car MOT’d, a court heard
Dafter then told him to call the police. When the conductor asked him why, Dafter replied: ‘I am evil and a bad man,’ the court heard.
He later told British Transport Police officers he had killed his wife. The transport cops then alerted colleagues in Northamptonshire, who discovered Mrs Dafter’s body in the kitchen.
Dafter admitted manslaughter, arguing that his responsibility was diminished, but denied murder.
The court heard Dafter and Diana were both born in Malawi and, after finishing school in Africa, they moved to the UK, where they met and got married.
Dafter had spent some time in the British Army and, following his discharge, became a bus driver and then a HGV driver.
During the train journey he also sent a group WhatsApp message saying: ‘Boys and D. Going to jail. I have killed Diana Dafter today’
CCTV footage was shown to the court of Diana leaving and returning to her flat on the morning of Friday, October 7 – this was the last time she was seen alive.
Mr Aspden told the court that it was upon Diana’s return when ‘all the resentment and bitterness boiled over’ and Dafter stabbed his wife repeatedly with a knife so hard that the blade had broken off from the handle.
A post mortem examination carried out on Diana’s body two days later at the Leicester Royal Infirmary found she died from a single stab wound to the heart.
She had a total of 17 wounds and cuts on her fingers that suggested she tried to save herself by pushing the knife away during the attack, it was said.
After killing his wife, jurors were told how Dafter emerged from their flat and exchanged pleasantries with a neighbour before heading to Asda and purchasing a set of kitchen knives.
He then returned to the flat and drank whisky as his wife lay dead, before stabbing himself several times.
On Wednesday, jurors at Northampton Crown Court (pictured) took just two hours to convict Dafter – who was arrested at London Euston station after telling a conductor he needed to speak to police because he was an ‘evil and bad man’
Northampton Crown Court heard Range Rover driver Dafter then headed to the town’s railway station and bought a ticket to London Euston.
The jury was told after being arrested, Dafter told a psychiatrist he knew what he had done and he had been driven to it by his wife ‘going on and on’ at him.
The court previously heard that Dafter was diagnosed with recurrent depressive disorder and had become ‘withdrawn’ and ‘irritable’ in the months leading up to the killing.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury, said: ‘I am really pleased that Phillip Dafter has been found guilty of murder today and that the jury did not accept his plea of manslaughter.
‘This was an extremely violent and prolonged attack that could not have come about without a very real intention to cause Diana serious harm.
‘It is important to remember Diana Dafter for who she was. And that is so much more than just Phillip Dafter’s wife. She was a loving mother, daughter and friend. A student nurse with a real passion for care, hardworking, and someone very easy to get along with.
‘Though today’s verdict will be a small comfort to her family and those who loved her, I hope it will help to know that Phillip Dafter is now facing an exceptionally long stretch in prison for what he has done.
‘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 Phillip Dafter where he belongs – behind bars.’
Dafter will be sentenced on May 19.
Mrs Dafter was a mother-of-two and a student nurse. She also worked as a carer.
Vinit Kotecha, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘The tragedy of this case is that Diana was attacked and killed in her own kitchen, at home where she should have been the safest of all.
‘Dafter’s intent was clear to see in his actions – the violence of his attack and his movements after the killing.
‘Throughout the piecing together of the evidence in this case and the efforts we have made to bring Philip Dafter to justice, the thing that is abundantly clear is the impact of this tragedy on the rest of their family.
‘Their children must now grow up without their mother and the knowledge of how she died.
‘I would like to offer all of Diana’s loved ones my most profound sympathies.’
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12016743/Former-soldier-32-stabbed-wife-death-boarding-train-convicted-murder.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270