‘Evil monster’ murderer lay in wait before stabbing mum in chest, face and neck in jealous rage


A murdering ‘evil monster’ has been sentenced to life in prison after stabbing a young mum to death in a jealous rage.

Lewis Crofts, 30, repeatedly knifed Kimberley Deakin in the neck, breast and face after lying in wait at her Burslem home.

Spurting blood from her wounds, Kimberley, 29, screamed ‘You have got to help me. You need to get my kids’.

A neighbour, Philip O’Neil, alerted to the commotion bravely went into the Leigh Street address to rescue her baby.

When asked by paramedics who had done it, Kimberley replied, ‘My boyfriend’.

Stafford Crown Court heard she was rushed to the Royal Stoke University Hospital but went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance.

She was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at 6.04pm nearly two hours after she was brutally attacked on November 6 last year

In the meantime, Crofts had fled the scene in Kimberley’s car but was arrested on the A14 in Northamptonshire at 6.31pm after stopping to buy vodka at Stafford Services.



Lewis Crofts
Lewis Crofts

The defendant – who was one and a half times the legal limit for driving – told police: “I have done what I have done. It is as simple as that.”

He went on to plead guilty to murder last month just days before his trial was due to be held.

The court heard Crofts had become jealous as he suspected Kimberley had rekindled a relationship with her ex, Matthew Bloor, the father of her baby.

Sentencing Crofts to life in prison with a minimum term of 16 years and nine months, Judge Kristina Montgomery said: “This was a very grave offence. You took the life of a much-loved mother.

“You did so in a brutal manner and left her seeking the help of neighbours whilst making good your escape.

“In the days leading up you suspected her infidelity.

“Your suspicions she was overseas with the father of her child were confirmed.

“You stabbed her in the jaw and twice in the torso.

“You killed her in what should have been the sanctuary of her own home.

“I accept that you acknowledge the suffering of your victim and those she leaves behind. It is an isolated incident albeit of the utmost gravity.”



Kimberley Deakin, 29, was fatally stabbed

Prosecutor Ed Vickers QC told the court Crofts – originally from Bournemouth – first contacted his victim after meeting married Mr Bloor on holiday in Turkey who disclosed he was having an affair with Kimberley.

Crofts then got in touch with Kimberley and, on his return, he travelled to the Potteries and moved in with her.

But the relationship soon soured.

By the end of September Kimberley disclosed to friends she was getting fed up with the arguments they were having.

And the following month Crofts started to challenge Kimberley over her relationship with Mr Bloor and whether they had attended a funeral together.



Police at the scene in Leigh Street, Burslem.

The court heard matters came to a head when Mr Bloor went to Jersey on October 31 and Kimberley decided to go as well.

In the early hours of November 1 he told Mr Bloor’s wife Kelly he wanted to kill him.

Crofts also told a friend his partner was seeing her ex and he was going to drive back to Staffordshire to kill them both

He then travelled to Stoke-on-Trent to wait at Kimberley’s address as she was driven home by her grandma, Shirley Colclough, from Liverpool Airport.

He bought beer, cigarettes and a scratch card from the Co-op in Sneyd Green at 11.48am before arriving in Leigh Street at 12.30pm.

While there, Crofts discovered her passport was missing.

Mr Vickers QC said: “There was planning. The attack was premeditated. When he challenged her she denied what was happening. There was the discovery of the missing passport on the afternoon of November 6.

“It is not known what was said in the final meeting just before she was stabbed in her own house.”

A post mortem examination on November 7 showed Kimberley had suffered a stab wound to the left cheek, 9cm cut through tissue top the neck. She also had two stab wounds to her left breast.

There were nine significant other wounds.



Kimberley Deakin

Kimberley’s blood was found on a kitchen knife and on his jacket.

Jeremy Wainwright QC, mitigating, said the defendant had no history of violent offending.

Mr Wainwright QC said: “She was texting him he was being delusional, she was not lying, she had done nothing, his messages were having a serious effect on her because they were untrue.

“The discovery the passport was missing acted as the final trigger. He seized the knife and stabbed her.”

Mr Wainwright QC said: “Having weeks of considering himself paranoid and upset he snapped. He lost control.

“There was not an intent formed in his mind to kill her. His reaction when he heard about her death bears that out.

“As soon as I saw him he said, ‘I want to plead guilty to murder’.

“These are his words: ‘I feel awful because I have taken someone’s life. I should never have done it.

“I know it has horrific consequences for her family.”

Members of Kimberley’s family told the court how Crofts had ‘ripped their lives apart’.



Kim Deakin and daughter Ava

In a victim impact statement, her uncle Craig Deakin said: “Our lives changed forever. We grieve every day. We can’t sleep without having nightmares.”

He said the family are ‘heartbroken’ and ‘devastated’. He added: “We will always be that.”

Britanny Deakin, Kimberley’s sister, said: “Not only have I lost my sister, I have lost my best friend.

“She was taken not by natural causes, but by an evil monster.”

She added: “I am not myself any more, not the bubbly girl I used to be. I do not smile as much now, why should I?

“Lewis Crofts makes my blood boil. He has torn my family apart.”

The 178 days Cofts has served on remand will count towards the term.

Mr O’Neil, the neighbour who went in the house and collected the baby while the defendant was still in the house, will be recognised.



Well-wishers attend the funeral of Kimberley Deakin

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