Husband hacked Covid nurse wife to death with 'Gurkha-style' machete with 'unrelenting brutality'

A HUSBAND who killed his wife with a Gurkha-style machete after chasing her down the street in a murderous rage has been jailed.

Army veteran Craig Woodhall, 41, told a horrified neighbour that Victoria Woodhall, 31, “deserved it” after he repeatedly stabbed her outside their home. 

Two children witnessed the attack of "unrelenting brutality" on March 29 which was captured on CCTV – showing Woodhall walking away before returning twice to stab her again. 

An air ambulance landed in a nearby field and paramedics rushed to the property, but Victoria was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.

Woodhall pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court and has been sentenced to 18 and a half years in prison. 

Her family released the following statement after Woodhall was put behind bars: “No sentence the judge could have handed down today can bring Vicky back to her family, nor compensate for the terrible pain we are suffering.

“We would urge anyone who is suffering domestic violence, or who thinks someone they know may be, to tell someone about it.

“We hope this message might save even one other family from having to endure the nightmare we have endured following Vicky’s murder.”


Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

Always keep your phone nearby.

Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.

If you are in danger, call 999.

Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.

Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.

If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.

Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

The court heard that Victoria had left “controlling” Woodhall just weeks earlier and had met a new partner.

Victoria, who worked on the frontline fighting coronavirus at Rotherham hospital, had tried to return home during the lockdown.

Woodhall called the police claiming that Victoria was breaching lockdown measures. 

It was then that Woodhall had an “eruption of rage” and chased Victoria out onto the street and attacked her. 

The court heard that when asked by a neighbour why he had killed his wife, Woodhall replied: “She deserved it. She has been winding me up all day.”

Thug Woodhall fled the scene in a car but later handed himself in by flashing his headlights at cops.

A post-mortem examination concluded that Victoria died as a result of multiple incised wounds.

The violence she suffered was so extreme that she had multiple skull fractures, as well as significant injuries to her head, face, neck, arms, hands, shoulders and back.

It was an unrelenting avalanche of exceptionally serious violence visited upon a defenceless woman

Sentencing Woodhall today, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said: "Your conduct may only be characterised as merciless, determined, sustained and savage in the extreme.

"The deceased was defenceless.

"The blows were visited with brute force, bringing the knife down repeatedly from a height on to the body of the deceased. Your wife died rapidly from the acute blood loss.

"It was an unrelenting avalanche of exceptionally serious violence visited upon a defenceless woman."

He added: "You plainly intended to kill your wife. Not a shred of mercy was exhibited at the scene. You left her for dead in the street."

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Ben Wood said: “Once more I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Victoria’s family and friends, as they try to process the loss of their loved one.

“Woodhall is a dangerous, violent individual and I am pleased he has been handed a lengthy prison term for his crime.”

Woodhall was also handed a 15 month sentence for possession of an offensive weapon, to be served concurrently.

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