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Suffolk: Murderer carried out attack

PUBLISHED: 10:52 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:40 06 July 2010

A COMPANY director serving a life sentence for murdering his fiancée by driving over her head on a Suffolk road has been convicted of a brutal attack on her former partner.

A COMPANY director serving a life sentence for murdering his fiancée by driving over her head on a Suffolk road has been convicted of a brutal attack on her former partner.

Four months after he was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of murdering 35-year-old mother-of-three Deborah Townsend, Christopher Caunter was back in the dock this week to face a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Jason Yasin.

The court heard that the attack on Mr Yasin, which Caunter denied, took place on Christmas Day 2004 - seven months before Ms Townsend's body was found in the boot of Caunter's abandoned Land Rover Discovery at a beauty spot near Chelmsford.

During this week's trial at Ipswich Crown Court Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting said that Ms Townsend had been in a relationship with Mr Yasin before she started going out with Caunter, and had had a son with him.

On Christmas Day 2004 Mr Yasin had turned up at Ms Townsend's London house hoping to see his son and had been attacked with a pick axe handle by Caunter.

Caunter had chased Mr Yasin out of the house into the street and had aimed blows at his head.

Mr Yasin put his arms up to defend himself and had suffered fractures to both arms.

The jury, which was not told about Caunter's conviction for murdering Ms Townsend until after the trial, took less than an hour to find him guilty.

Judge John Devaux passed an indeterminate sentence for public protection under which Caunter would serve a minimum of three-and-a-half years before he could be considered for release by the parole board.

The sentence will run concurrently with the life sentence he is serving for Ms Townsend's murder.

During Caunter's murder trial in November last year the court heard that during a row Caunter had driven into Ms Townsend causing “serious and disabling” injuries to her ankle and heel before reversing over her head.

Parts of Ms Townsend's scalp and clumps of her hair were later found in a pool of blood by a passer by on the A146 at Beccles sparking a murder inquiry.

Ms Townsend's partially clothed body was found the following day in the boot of Caunter's abandoned Land Rover Discovery in the car park of a fishing lake at Newlands Hall, Roxwell, near Chelmsford.

Meanwhile 18-stone Caunter, of Hullbridge, Essex, who denied murdering Ms Townsend, fled to Thailand where he remained until he was extradited back to the UK in 2007.

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