Polegate attempted murder was “borne out of anger and jealousy”

Joseph O'Riordan SUS-150421-174114001
Joseph O'Riordan SUS-150421-174114001

Sussex Police has condemned the “violent attack” of Joseph O’Riordan against his wife Amanda.

Former town councillor O’Riordan, 73, of Guardian Court, Brookside Avenue, Polegate, was convicted of attempting to murder his wife today (April 21).

The knife used when Joseph O'Riordan attempted to murder his wife SUS-150421-174657001

The knife used when Joseph O'Riordan attempted to murder his wife SUS-150421-174657001

He stood trial at Brighton Law Court, after admitting wounding with intent, but denying attempted murder.

On October 22, he stabbed his wife Amanda, 47, three weeks after discovering she had an affair with their former postman.

DCI Ashcroft said, “My thoughts are with the victim in this matter. She has suffered an extremely violent attack by O’Riordan, her husband in her own home. This was borne out of anger and jealousy at her having confessed to an affair, and though he eventually showed remorse and called for help, nothing justifies inflicting the injuries which were suffered by Mrs O’Riordan.

“I am pleased that the jury recognised that at the time O’Riordan fully intended to end her life, so that it was not simply a question of him inflicting wounds calculated to injure her.

“While Mrs O’Riordan has thankfully been making a physical recovery, I have no doubt that she will be emotionally traumatised by these events for some time to come.”

During a trial which began on last week, the court heard how the former Polegate North town councillor had stabbed his wife nine times with a kitchen knife after discovering she was having an affair with another man.

Police had been called to their home in a quiet cul-de-sac just before 10pm after an ambulance controller took a 999 call from O’Riordan, announcing that a woman had been stabbed and that he was the person responsible.

Officers at Polegate’s nearby road policing unit were quickly on the scene from where Mrs O’Riordan, found lying on a blood-stained bed, was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, where she underwent emergency surgery to save her life.

O’Riordan directed officers to where had left the nine-inch kitchen knife he had used to stab his wife, confounding them with his “icily calm demeanour” and “unaggressive compliance”.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said after the case, that this contrasted with the ferocity of the attack on Mrs O’Riordan.

Knife blows had broken one of her ribs and injured her liver and stomach.

In total there were nine stab wounds as she struggled to defend herself, the back of one hand had been slashed down to the tendons.

For background on the case, and a full court report, click here.