Hus­band’s body found af­ter at­tack man­hunt

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ jamie.lopez@reach­plc.com @jamie_lopez1

ABUSINESSMAN ac­cused of stab­bing his wife and throw­ing petrol at a teenager has been found dead in a lake near their house.

John Cow­ley, 63, was be­ing hunted by po­lice over the hor­rific at­tack which also saw a car torched out­side their home in Moody Road, Mawdes­ley.

He was re­ported to have re­peat­edly stabbed the vic­tim, Ali­son Cow­ley, in the stom­ach be­fore she and her daugh­ter ran to safety as the car ex­ploded.

The pair were res­cued by a pass­ing mo­torist, artist and ex-boxer Rob New­big­gin, and Cow­ley fled the scene.

Lan­cashire po­lice launched a man­hunt to find him and later re­vealed CCTV footage of him at a petrol sta­tion in South­port hours af­ter the at­tack.

Of­fi­cers have now con­firmed that his body was found eight days later in a lake off Moody Lane.

Emer­gency ser­vices were first called to nearby Ashtrees, on Oc­to­ber 10, where Mr New­big­gin had taken the pair to es­cape the at­tack.

Po­lice and fire ser­vices were also called to Moody Lane, where a car was burn­ing out­side the Cow­leys’ house.

Dam­age was clearly vis­i­ble to the road sur­face when the car was re­moved the next day. Mrs Cow­ley was taken to hos­pi­tal by air am­bu­lance where she was treated for se­ri­ous in­juries, from which she is be­lieved to be re­cov­er­ing.

Af­ter the in­ci­dent, Mr New­big­gin told how he res­cued the woman and her teenage daugh­ter, say­ing: “I’m a tough guy, but I’ve never been so scared in all my life.”

He said: “The girl was scream­ing but we were think­ing it was screams of laugh­ter.

“As she came closer, I could smell petrol. I looked at the girl and I could tell wasn’t right.

“Then I saw the red petrol can in his hand. It was only a mat­ter of time be­fore he pulled a lighter out. He looked hell-bent.”

As Mr New­big­gin was about to get out of his car to help the girl, the car parked out­side the home burst into flames.

He said: “There was an ex­plo­sion. Petrol had ob­vi­ously been poured in the car and set alight. The flames were 12ft high and, if we had been any closer, we’d prob­a­bly have been killed on the spot.” some­thing

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