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Husband found drunk and bleeding at Euston station convicted of wife's murder

Phillip Dafter, who has been found guilty of murder (Northamptonshire Police/PA)
Matthew Cooper, PA

A 33-year-old man who killed his wife before being found at London’s Euston station with multiple self-inflicted stab wounds has been found guilty of murder.

Phillip Dafter stabbed Diana Dafter, aged 36, at their home in Lawrence Court, Northampton, using such force that the blade of the knife broke, Northamptonshire Police said.

CCTV footage shown to jurors captured Dafter driving his car to the nearby Asda to purchase a new set of kitchen knives after the killing on October 7 2022.

He then returned home and used one of the knives to stab himself several times, before driving to Northampton train station, where he boarded a service to Euston, staying on the train once it had arrived and telling the train conductor that he needed to speak to the police.

Prosecutors said Dafter was discovered drunk and bleeding, having stabbed himself in the stomach and consumed a large amount of whisky before getting onto the train.

At Euston, he claimed to be “evil and a bad man” and told British Transport Police he had killed his wife, a trial at Northampton Crown Court was told.

Officers from Northamptonshire Police were immediately sent to Lawrence Court and found Mrs Dafter’s body. She had been stabbed five times and a post-mortem examination found she had died from a single stab wound to the heart.

During his trial, Dafter denied murder but admitted to manslaughter, arguing loss of control and diminished responsibility.

But jurors found Dafter, who will be sentenced on May 19, guilty of murder on Wednesday.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Pendlebury, said: “I am really pleased that Phillip Dafter has been found guilty of murder today and that the jury did not accept his plea of manslaughter.

“This was an extremely violent and prolonged attack that could not have come about without a very real intention to cause Diana serious harm.

“It is important to remember Diana Dafter for who she was. And that is so much more than just Phillip Dafter’s wife. She was a loving mother, daughter and friend.

“A student nurse with a real passion for care, hardworking, and someone very easy to get along with.

“Though today’s verdict will be a small comfort to her family and those who loved her, I hope it will help to know that Phillip Dafter is now facing an exceptionally long stretch in prison for what he has done.”