Thug said he would 'do time' before stabbing gran in sheltered housing 60 times

960     0
Stephen Ansbro has been jailed for life (Image: Northumbria Police)
Stephen Ansbro has been jailed for life (Image: Northumbria Police)

A murderer who said he would "do time" before stabbing a grandmother 60 times at a sheltered accommodation has been jailed for life.

Stephen Ansbro killed gran-of-nine Jane Collinson, subjecting her to an "excruciating" and "terrifying" attack. A court heard he had warned he would kill her after finding out she had complained to the manager of the flats where they lived and had warned another resident's son that he was getting too close to his mother.

In March this year, Ansbro turned up at married Jane's flat and spent seven hours there. He ended up repeatedly using a knife on Jane, causing her to slowly bleed to death, before leaving her to be discovered the next day by her devastated family. Now the killer, who also sexually abused a schoolgirl and was cruel to another child, has been jailed for life.

Thug said he would 'do time' before stabbing gran in sheltered housing 60 times eideziqkeiqhhinvJane Collinson was murdered by Stephen Ansbro (Durham Police)

Newcastle Crown Court heard, Jane, 59, and Ansbro, 60, both lived at a complex at Dunelm Court, in County Durham, which was for over 60s or over 55s with disabilities. Ansbro, who found it difficult to walk long distances and often used an electric wheelchair, had been in relationships with four women at the flats but not Jane, the court heard.

Mark McKone KC, prosecuting, said Jane had complained about him to the manager in September 2022 and she wrote a letter to a resident's son saying he was getting too close to his mother. Ansbro had told the daughter of his ex that he "didn't like Jane" and said he would "do time for her and would kill her because she was getting on his nerves". Around 11.30am on March 3 this year, CCTV showed him knocking on her door and he entered her flat.

Man in 30s dies after being stabbed in park sparking police probeMan in 30s dies after being stabbed in park sparking police probe

At various times between around 12pm and 5pm, Ansbro's partner knocked on the door as she wanted him to join her, and when Jane answered, she saw Ansbro sitting on a sofa. At 6.14pm he came out of Jane's flat and took his wheelchair back inside then at 6.31pm he left in the wheelchair, fiddling with the door and somehow managing to bolt it from outside - in a doomed attempt to make it look like Jane had committed suicide.

Thug said he would 'do time' before stabbing gran in sheltered housing 60 timesBody-worn camera footage of the murderer's arrest (PA)

The following day, Jane's concerned partner and family forced entry and found her body on the sofa. There was a lot of blood and a bread knife was in the sink and was found to have body tissue on it. She had suffered 59 "incised wounds" caused by slashes to her head, neck, trunk, arms, hands and legs and one stab wound to her face. She died from blood loss but no major blood vessels were severed, meaning it may have taken tens of minutes for her to lose consciousness.

The knife had been used with such force it passed completely through bone and almost totally severed two fingers on her hand. She also had bruises, scratches and abrasions caused after death, some of which were likely caused by punches or slaps to the face.

The court heard the attack happened when she was on the sofa and the evidence showed she had struggled significantly during the attack. Ansbro inflicted superficial knife wounds on his own neck and initially falsely claimed Jane had attacked him.

Thug said he would 'do time' before stabbing gran in sheltered housing 60 timesAnsbro had warned he would 'do time for her' because she got on his nerves (PA)

Jane's devastated husband, Garth Collinson, a farmer, said in a victim impact statement that she was his "best friend and soulmate", would help anyone and "was just marvellous". But he said the image of her badly injured body "never leaves me", adding: "I can't imagine the pain and suffering she went through before her death.

"She had so much to look forward to in her life. I can't imagine what my life will be without her. I'm simply lost." One of Jane's daughters, Jessica Hawley, said her mum was her best friend and had been taking a leading role in planning her wedding. She said: "What hurts most is my mum won't be at my wedding, won't see my in my wedding dress."

She said she has nightmares and added that "my heart is broken" but said: "What Stephen Ansbro can't take away from me are my memories that will last a lifetime." Sentencing him, Judge Paul Sloan KC said: "It was a sustained and particularly brutal attack, during which you caused multiple injuries." The judge said that Ansbro had "brutally extinguished" the dreams and plans of Jane and her family and added: "The last moments of her life must have been absolutely terrifying and the mental and physical suffering, excruciating."

Thug said he would 'do time' before stabbing gran in sheltered housing 60 timesAnsbro arriving at the flat of Jane Collinson (PA)

As well as the murder, Ansbro also admitted historic sex offences - four counts of indecent assault on a schoolgirl - and a charge of child cruelty against a primary school-aged boy. The victim of his sexual offending described him as a "monster". The court heard Ansbro has 62 previous convictions, all for dishonesty, including two for robbery, one of which saw him jailed for six years in 1998.

For the murder, Ansbro was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years and he was sentenced to four years and nine months consecutively for the sexual and cruelty offences. He was also given a sexual harm prevention order, a restraining order and must sign the sex offenders register.

Rob Kennedy

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus