A CRAZED killer who launched a vicious and sustained attack on his former girlfriend on a busy Wath street has been jailed for life.
Onlookers watched in horror as spurned lover Philip John Stier carried out what a judge described as a "particularly public execution" on Doreen Corbett, on West Street, last November. Mother-of-five Doreen died five months after the attack, her injuries so severe she never regained consciousness.
After Stier, 41 of Keswick Road, Darton, pleaded guilty to murder, at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday it emerged he had previous convictions of violence towards Mrs Corbett.
Prosecuting, Sophie Drake told the court how Stier dragged Ms Corbett out of her flat in a jealous rage after she had made it clear their relationship of several years was over.
CCTV cameras outside the adjacent Tesco supermarket showed Stier chasing his screaming victim out of her flat during the morning rush hour traffic on November 20.
Witnesses saw Stier grab her by the back of her hair and pull her to the ground, before stabbing her in the stomach four times with a six-inch-blade, his fist clenched around the handle.
The court heard Stier's violence was so frenzied he stabbed her in the chest and broke the knife blade, then kicked her in the stomach and jumped on her head with both feet. He then jumped on her leg so hard witnesses heard it crack. Appalled by the attack, bystanders Tyrone Woodhead and student Alexander Burgin restrained Stier and pulled her away from him.
Stier casually lit up a cigarette after the assault and shouted that she "deserved to die". He then tried to get back to his stricken victim, declaring that he still loved her.
Police investigating the incident found Mrs Corbett's five-year-old son in her bloodstained flat, who told them Stier had stabbed his mother in the hand in front of him before dragging her outside.
Ms Corbett was taken to Barnsley Hospital with injuries to her brain and stab wounds to her heart and abdomen. She remained in hospital and never regained consciousness until she eventually died on March 16.
Sophie Drake said 39-year-old Doreen was a "vibrant, attractive and energetic" woman. Her family had been devastated by her death, particularly her youngest two children. She had started a relationship with Stier in 2004 and they had lived together, although not at the time of the offence.
The court heard he had been conditionally discharged for assaulting her and causing damage to her flat in 2004. There had also been assault allegations made against Stier by his former wife and another ex-partner.
Defending, Eric Elliott QC said Stier had had a drink problem for many years, was prone to depressive episodes and on occasions was prone to be consumed by jealousy. The couple had a volatile relationship rather than an abusive one. Mobile phone text messages suggested she had wanted it to end. He said his client had travelled to the flat with the knife, which had his name stamped on it - to try and effect a reconciliation or to use the knife to take his own life. When he confronted Ms Corbett in the flat he found another man’s number in her telephone pad. He was consumed by jealousy, wrongly believing that the man was in a relationship with her. The attack was not premeditated but an immediate eruption of violence after his pleas fell on deaf ears. He had been overcome by remorse since the attack and had tried to end his own life.
Judge Goldsack sentenced Stier to serve a minimum of 16 years and three months.
He said: “This was a particularly ferocious assault. You perpetrated a particularly public execution.
“No sentence can undo what happened or lessen the hurt to the victim’s family, particularly the children.”
He told Stier he would only be released when the parole board considered him to be no longer dangerous. He added: “A psychiatrist has said you are a high risk to those people you form relationships with and I am inclined to agree with what he says.”
The judge praised five members of the public who put themselves at risk by helping Mrs Corbett during the attack, particularly Tyrone Woodhead and Alexander Burgin, who were awarded 400 each from public funds.