Man Jailed For Aylesbury Murder
3:42pm 29th January 2010
(Updated 4:48pm 29th January 2010)
A man who stabbed an Aylesbury woman to death while she was out walking her dogs has been jailed for life.
Sally Garwood, a teaching assistant at Lord Williams school in Thame was attacked in July last year at Meadowcroft playing fields.
25 year old pub chef Robert Cusworth from Levings Close said he woke up in a bad mood and bought a kitchen knife so he could hurt somebody.
He will serve a minimum of 20 years, reduced by 6 months for time already served in prison.
Carl Barker, reviewing lawyer from Thames Valley Crown Prosecution Service, said “This was an utterly senseless and motiveless attack by a man on a much smaller woman who was simply enjoying walking her dog on a Saturday afternoon on a popular piece of public land in Aylesbury.
“Robert Cusworth did not know Sally Garwood let alone harbour any previous bad feelings towards her. As he told police, he was in a bad mood, and he had bought a knife the day before because he felt ‘very very angry’ and wanted ‘to hurt someone’. He had walked to Quarrendon Fields that afternoon armed with the knife knowing that he was ‘going to do something really bad’. By a tragic coincidence, Sally Garwood happened to be walking in that part of the fields when Mr Cusworth was waiting for a victim. We offer our deepest sympathies to all who knew Sally Garwood. She was deeply loved and is desperately missed by her family. A remarkable feature of this tragedy is the courage shown by her husband, parents, brother and sisters throughout their ordeal. We hope that the conclusion of the court proceedings can bring them some measure of comfort."
Statement from Sally Garwood’s husband, Simon:
“We would like to start by thanking Thames Valley Police for their hard work and support, in particular Det Supt Rob Mason and his investigative team and our family liaison officers, Simone Marples and Debra North.
“Sally was a truly wonderful person. She dedicated her whole life to serving God and helping and loving others. Every job and path since leaving school she took because she wanted to help make a difference and make things better for others, particularly children and young people. No tribute could do justice to simply the best person and friend I have ever known.
“As a family we feel that given his guilty plea and the mandatory life sentence imposed, Robert Cusworth must now take responsibility for and face the consequences of his terrible actions.
“Sally was an innocent young woman out walking her dog on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer, who had no reason to suspect what was about to happen to her.
“In some ways the conviction and sentence changes nothing for us. This brutal and cowardly act means that I, Sally’s mum and dad, her loving sisters and brother have to live every moment of every day without her and with the horrific memory of how she died.
“From a personal point of view I hope that the faith in God that Sally and I shared will one day, somehow, give me the strength to forgive, but at the moment it is difficult to put into words how devastated I am that someone could have done this to my beautiful Sally.”
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