How this South Yorkshire wife killer had a history of alleged domestic violence against his partners

A killer who butchered his wife with a machete had a history of alleged domestic violence against his wife and two former partners

By Jon Cooper
Monday, 12th October 2020, 12:40 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on October 2 how Craig Woodhall, aged 41, of Windsor Crescent, Middlecliffe, Barnsley, admitted murdering his wife Victoria Woodhall, aged 31, in the street outside their home.

James Hill, prosecuting, told the court Woodhall’s estranged wife had visited the matrimonial home after they had separated but was refused entry before the defendant brutally attacked with a machete.

Mr Hill said two of Craig Woodhall’s former partners alleged he had been possessive and violent towards them and Victoria Woodhall had confided with a friend that the defendant had been possessive and controlling and had allegedly pushed her.

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Pictured is Craig Woodhall, aged 41, of Windsor Crescent, Middlecliffe, Barnsley, who has been jailed for 18 years and six months after he admitted murdering his wife with a machete.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said: “You used a large Gurkha knife called a Kukri to mercilessly inflict the fatal injuries to the upper body, head, and neck of your wife. I have no doubt you intended to kill her. She died rapidly from the injuries you inflicted.

"I am also entirely satisfied you harbour controlling and unnaturally possessive personal traits. This is clear from the evidence of previous partners. It was because of these traits, your wife left you a short while before you killed her.”

One of Craig Woodhall’s previous partners claimed he was jealous and possessive and violent towards her, allegedly pushing her and putting his hands around her throat and he also allegedly damaged a car when their relationship ended.

A further former partner claimed Craig Woodhall had been verbally abusive, possessive and controlling and had allegedly pushed and kicked her.

Pictured is murder victim Victoria Woodhall.

Mr Hill said after Craig and Victoria Woodhall married one of Victoria’s friends asked why she was going through with the marraige when she had not seemed happy and Victoria told her there would be consequences if she did not go through with it.

Victoria Woodhall had also confided to her friend that Craig Woodhall had thrown her phone and had pushed her, according to Mr Hill.

Mr Hill added after the couple became estranged Craig Woodhall had become hostile while trying to seek a reconcilitation.

Woodhall even called the police to try and have Victoria arrested for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules, according to Mr Hill, when she had visited the home.

Victoria contacted friends and began filming through windows at the house, Craig Woodhall chased her into the street with the machere and slashed and stabbed her to death.

Andrew O’Byrne said there had been a lack of premeditation and Craig Woodhall had lost any sense of self-control and he has expressed remorse.

Judge Richardson told Woodhall: “It was an unrelenting avalanche of exceptionally serious violence visited upon a defenceless woman.”

He sentenced Woodhall to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years and six months before he can be considered for release.

The Sheffield local Domestic Abuse Helpline can be accessed by calling 0808 808 2241 (freephone) Mondays to Fridays 8am – 7pm and Saturdays 9am – 5pm.

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