Folkestone; Man Jailed For 15 Years

A Folkestone man has been jailed after he threatened to kill and stabbed a woman he had had a brief relationship with.

The 47-year-old was stabbed with a fish filleting knife by Simon Liddell in front of startled Folkestone shoppers in the middle of the afternoon on 9 November last year.

Liddell (49) of Clifton Road, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday (30 August 2013) at Maidstone Crown Court after admitting the attempted murder of Angela Rueter-Bell at an earlier hearing.

The court was told that Liddell, an alcoholic who had been drinking beer and vodka on the day of the attack, confronted Miss Rueter-Bell as she pushed her bicycle up the Old High Street. She was on her way home from work and as Liddell approached her, he pulled a 30cm filleting knife from under his coat saying that he was going to kill her.

In front of witnesses, Liddell stabbed at Miss Rueter-Bell’s chest and stomach and at her back as she tried to escape. She blocked the knife blows with her hand and received cuts including a deeper stab wound that required hospital treatment. Liddell was restrained by local shop owners and passing shoppers until police officers arrived.

Liddell and Miss Rueter-Bell had known each other for two years but a relationship only developed in July 2011 and Miss Rueter-Bell ended it shortly afterwards.

Interviewed by police officers after the attack, Liddell said that he had taken the rejection badly and had declined into a drink-fuelled depression. He said that it “drove him crazy” that he had lost Miss Rueter-Bell and he admitted getting into her flat when no-one was at home and taking an item of her clothing.

Two days prior to stabbing Miss Rueter-Bell, Liddell had threatened to kill her when they met whilst she was walking her dog. She told police that she had been due to report the threats and a threat he had made to kill himself on the day he attacked her in the town.

Detective Constable Andrew West said: ’This was a terrifying experience for the victim who had ended a relationship with Liddell explaining that his alcoholism was the reason. He admitted he could not accept the rejection but his actions were completely out of proportion.

‘Had Miss Rueter-Bell not reacted as swiftly as she did along with the assistance of local shop owners and passers-by, Liddell’s knife attack would likely have continued, by his own admission, with devastating consequences for Miss Rueter-Bell.

‘I would like to thank those members of the public, disregarding the risk to themselves, who came to Miss Rueter-Bell’s assistance and helped to save her life.'

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