Bru­tal bur­glar given 32-year sen­tence

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Paul Hooper

The brave Wye pen­sioner who fought off a sav­age and mur­der­ous knifeman has been praised for her “bloody-minded de­ter­mi­na­tion and char­ac­ter”.

Wendy Web­ster, a 74-year-old ac­coun­tant, was stabbed 11 times dur­ing the or­deal at her home, where she had been re­cov­er­ing from a se­ri­ous horse-riding ac­ci­dent.

On Mon­day, she sat just yards away from her at­tacker, Leoni­dis Mouza­ki­tis, of Stan­ley Road, Folkestone, to watch him re­ceive a 32-year ex­tended sen­tence for his crime.

Af­ter the hear­ing at Can­ter­bury Crown Court – where she was awarded a High Sher­iff of Kent award for brav­ery – the mod­est and kindly vic­tim told a po­lice of­fi­cer she was “just glad it was over”.

She had ear­lier told Judge James O’Ma­hony in a vic­tim- im­pact state­ment that she re­garded her­self as “lucky to be alive” and was “re­ally cross” she felt un­able to live in Wye.

Dur­ing the trial the jury had heard how in the mid­dle of the fren­zied stab­bing, Mrs Web­ster told her­self: “I’m not go­ing to let him bloody kill me! I thought I’m go­ing to die. I am not go­ing to let that hap­pen!”

The judge said she sur­vived for two rea­sons: the im­me­di­ate med­i­cal help she re­ceived; and her “quite in­de­fati­ga­ble spirit and bloody-minded de­ter­mi­na­tion and char­ac­ter”.

Mouza­ki­tis, 24, was found guilty of at­tempt­ing to mur­der her in what the judge de­scribed as a “cal­cu­lated, me­thod­i­cal and vi­cious” at­tack.

He was jailed for 27 years, and the judge added an­other five years to be served on li­cence when he is re­leased.

The jury had been told that, de­spite her ap­palling wounds, Mrs Web­ster had stag­gered 80 yards from her home in Lit­tle Olantigh Road be­fore flag­ging down a pass­ing car.

Mouza­ki­tis had ad­mit­ted ag­gra­vated bur­glary, steal­ing a car and wound­ing with in­tent but had de­nied at­tempted mur­der.

Prose­cu­tor Si­mon Con­nolly told the jury how Mouza­ki­tis had conned his way into the home of the busi­ness­woman last Au­gust be­fore pro­duc­ing a knife and grab­bing her around the neck.

Mrs Web­ster tried to talk the knifeman into giv­ing him­self up to po­lice as they sat at a ta­ble at her home, where she was re­cov­er­ing from the riding ac­ci­dent.

Mouza­ki­tis had been to the prop­erty a few weeks ear­lier, claim­ing he needed help in start­ing his car, and she thought he might have been a new neigh­bour.

Mr Con­nolly said he ar­rived at her home claim­ing he was col­lect­ing a par­cel that had been left in her gar­den by the postal ser­vice.

He then pro­duced a knife af­ter grab­bing his vic­tim around the neck. Mrs Web­ster’s fin­ger was cut as she put an arm up.

She said: “I was as­tounded and ter­ri­fied. He told me: ‘I am sorry. I must have your car. I need your car be­cause I have to get to Bournemouth’. All I could do was to try to keep things calm and no ag­gra­va­tion.”

Mr Con­nolly said the bur­glar claimed his sis­ter had been ab­ducted by a loan shark, and de­manded the keys to Mrs Web­ster’s BMW.

Dur­ing a bizarre dis­cus­sion, the bur­glar told her he was “re­ally evil” and claimed to be a tat­tooist from Ash­ford be­fore pre­tend­ing to call the po­lice to give him­self up.

Judge O’Ma­hony also praised Det Con An­drew Jones who had sup­ported the vic­tim through­out the court hear­ings.

Leoni­dis Mouza­ki­tis, from Folkestone, who has been found guilty of at­tempted mur­der, and the prop­erty in Wye where the at­tack took place

Pic­ture: Chris Davey

Judge James O’Ma­hony

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