A JEALOUS husband has been jailed after he threatened to kill his estranged wife and her new partner with an axe and a kitchen knife.
Jason Doidge went into a jealous rage when found his wife in bed with another man at his home in a village near Okehampton on a Sunday morning.
He had bought an axe on his way to the cottage and brandished it in the doorway of the bedroom while telling them both he was going to kill them.
Doidge threatened to castrate the man and was only pacified when his wife agreed to leave the house at Inwardleigh and go home with him.
Doidge sent his wife threatening messages in the 48 hours before he broke into the cottage and caught them in bed together. He then went back to his car to fetch the weapons and a blowtorch, which he left outside the property.
He left without causing any damage or injury but his wife and her partner were terrified by his threats and he has since needed counselling.
He claimed he thought they were away from the house and that his intention was to wreck it with the axe as an act of revenge but lost his temper when he saw them in bed together.
Doidge had been together with his 50-year-old wife since they were teenagers. They had been married for 30 years and had grown-up children but Doidge could not accept it when they split up.
Doidge, aged 50, of Northlew, admitted burglary, two counts of making threats to kill and two of threatening the couple with bladed articles and was jailed for two years and three months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge made a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting the victims or going to his wife's partners address in Inwardleigh.
He told him: “You found your estranged wife and her new partner at his house and by that stage you were in a jealous rage. You went to your car and retrieved a knife with a 10 inch blade and an axe which you had just bought.
“You spent some time abusing and menacing them and they both took you at your word. They were petrified. You desisted only when your wife agreed to accompany you back home.
“The decision to go to the house with an axe and a knife was clearly not a momentary loss of control. It was a planned act of jealous revenge.”
Mr Simon Burns, prosecuting, said Doidge’s 30-year-long marriage broke down last year and his wife started visiting her new partner, who is a butcher who had been a friend of both of them for some time.
They were discussing financial arrangements for a divorce in the days before the incident on the morning of Sunday, August 28 last year. Before he arrived at the house he sent a message which threatened his wife's new partner
It said: “You are my world, without you there is no me, goodbye. I’m coming for him so find a good hiding place. You go together.”
Mr Burns said Doidge stood in the bedroom doorway shouting that he was going to kill them both and they both believed they were going to die. He told them “I’m going to do you."
The male victim in the case managed to get a dressing gown on and escape to the bathroom where he tried to raise the alarm by calling to neighbours from the open window.
He told police: “Jason said ‘we’re going to sort this out.”
Mr Burns said the female victim persuaded her husband to leave without hurting either of them and went home with him. She did not call the police, who only learned about it when she told a friend who contacted them a week later.
Her victim impact statement described her terror and said her husband had been volatile, manipulative and temperamental during their marriage. She said his outbursts were like a tap she could not turn off.
She said she thought she was going to die when she saw him with the axe. She said: “I felt true fear. That man was not the man I recognised. I believed he would carry out the threats if I didn’t go with him.”
Her partner's personal statement said: “I looked at his eyes and thought of the phrase ‘if looks could kill’. I could see he wanted to carry out his threats.”
Miss Virginia Cornwall, defending, said Doidge bought the axe to do hedging work at home but then decided to use it to damage his wife's partner's home. He let himself in with a key and did not realise his wife was inside until he found them in bed together.
She said: “He was a fundamentally good man who was unable to understand or accept the break-up of his marriage and experienced a mental health crisis. It was a perfect storm leading up to this violent incident.
“Fortunately, no physical harm or damage to property was caused. The reality is that seeing them there together impacted on him.”
Speaking after sentencing, DC Craig Ferguson said: “We are pleased that Jason Doidge has seen justice for his volatile actions and abusive behaviour. This was a detailed investigation which centred around what had become a difficult and abusive time for one of the victims.
“The victims have shown great courage and fortitude in giving evidence to the police and throughout the investigation. I hope that today’s sentence and outcome serve as some comfort moving forward now that this unpredictable man is no longer in the community. In any case where evidence allows, we will seek to support victims and deal with offenders robustly.”