A man has been sentenced to 30 years in jail after being found guilty of a “cold-blooded execution” in a supermarket.
Neville Hord, 44, had been in a relationship with the victim’s mother and had spent two weeks planning the murder. He attacked Jodie Willsher, 30, where she worked at an Aldi supermarket in Skipton, North Yorkshire, just before Christmas.
The plumber had fitted a tracking device to Willsher’s car, purchased two knives, an axe, a cross-bow and even made inquiries about a buying a gun, Bradford Crown Court was told during the trial.
Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said Hord stabbed Willsher, who has a child, several times before he was jumped on by members of the public who wrapped him in cling-film and restrained him with a belt before police arrived.
Moulson described the murder as a “cold-blooded public execution perpetrated for the purpose of revenge”.
He told the court that Hord entered the busy supermarket with a knife and then left to get his axe for “back up”, stopping for a coffee in a neighbouring McDonald’s, before returning to attack Willsher.
Hord later told police Willsher smiled at him as he approached her, the court was told.
Willsher was stabbed multiple times by Hord and the attack continued as they both fell to the floor, and as members of the public intervened.
The prosecutor said she suffered five slash wounds and 11 stab wounds, one of which bent the knife.
A month before the murder, the victim’s mother, Nicola Dinsdale, reported to the police that Hord had attacked her and broken her arm. Police said this could have been the trigger for the eventual murder.
Detective Chief inspector Mark Pearson said: “I think Mr Hord’s motives are known to him. We all have our ideas what they are ... And, certainly, a misplaced, incredible jealousy of Jodie and how (he) felt that affected the relationship between him and Nicole was at the heart of this.”
Police found a cross-bow in Hord’s vehicle in the Aldi car park along with 50 bolts, a large amount of diesel and cable ties.
Sentencing Hord, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said: “You are a monster, Mr Hord.”
Describing him as “truly and horribly rotten to the core”, the judge said: “You sentenced her, in your mind, to death.”
The judge went on: “You chose a time and a place to, in effect, execute; to kill; to murder.”
In a statement read to the court, Willsher’s husband Malcolm said he was worried Hord would get out and harm their four-year-old daughter, Megan, and described how their lives had been ripped apart.
Malcolm said mother and daughter had enjoyed an “unbreakable bond” and recalled how Megan had told him: “I hate you daddy for not bringing mummy back.”
He said Megan had been looking forward to opening her Christmas presents with her mother and the family had a trip to Disneyland planned on Boxing Day.
Hord showed no emotion throughout the hearing. The judge said he had shown no remorse.
At Thursday’s hearing, Judge Hall told Hord: “The high probability is that you will never be released from prison.” He added: “Malcolm’s fears for Megan perhaps can be laid to rest.”