Husband’s body found after attack manhunt
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