Dream turned sour as fiancé went berserk

Madi Moir and Lee Rowlands, of Armthorpe, are in the last five of the Hallam FM competition to win a dream wedding. Picture: Marie Caley D3324MC
Madi Moir and Lee Rowlands, of Armthorpe, are in the last five of the Hallam FM competition to win a dream wedding. Picture: Marie Caley D3324MC
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A MAN went berserk and stabbed his fiancée under the pressure of trying to win an independent radio station’s Dream Wedding competition, a court heard.

Lee Rowlands, aged 37, and Madelaine Moir, 37, were among five finalists and were working up to 20 hours a day to try to raise the most money for charity to win the £25,000 contest.

But the stress of competing in Sheffield-based Hallam FM station’s competition which included a honeymoon in Sri Lanka got to Rowlands.

He suffered a ‘psychotic episode’, began hearing voices and attacked his fiancee stabbing her in the chest, arm, fingers and knee with two kitchen knives.

He was found in the street in the early hours by police in his boxer shorts, sobbing and calling for his grandmother.

Rowlands was admitted for mental health treatment but after serving 13 months in custody pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at Sheffield Crown Court.

He was jailed for 28 months but because of the time he has served will be released in a few weeks.

A family member said afterwards: “Madelaine still hopes to marry him one day.”

In the application for the competition Miss Moir wrote: “We wish we had met years ago, we love each other and want to shout it to the world.”

The court heard Rowlands had buckled under the pressure of trying to win the ‘Dream Wedding’ contest as the couple worked very long hours for charity.

During the 25-minute episode Rowlands took two knives from the kitchen of the home they shared in Hatfield Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster, and attacked his fiancee.

Miss Moir needed hospital treatment for a deep cut to her left breast and cuts to her arm and knee and a finger injury which requires more surgery.

Richard Barradell, defending, said the couple were raising charity cash to try to win a dream marriage and £25,000.

He said: “He and she were physically exhausted. He was doing everything he could as was she to raise money for charity. They aimed at £2,000 each per day but it was clear that things were getting to Lee Rowlands.”