1. ITV Report

Lowestoft man attempted to murder wife with hammer

Stephen Crush

A 59-year-old man has been jailed for over 13 years after attempting to murder his wife at their home in Lowestoft last year.

Stephen Crush, of Victoria Road, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on 29 January, where he was sentenced to 13 and a half years’ imprisonment. He had previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder at a hearing on 12 December 2019.

Police were called by Crush himself at just after 11.35pm on 9 September. He informed the call taker that he had hit his wife with a hammer at their home in Victoria Road and he thought she may have died.

On arrival at the premises, officers discovered 39-year-old Sarah Crush inside the kitchen with a serious head injury. She was transported to Addenbrooke’s Hospital via air ambulance where she remained for several weeks. Subsequently, she was transferred to another hospital where she continues to receive treatment for her injuries.

Stephen Crush was arrested at the scene and charged the following day. The medical reports showed that the victim had sustained at least three blows to the head with a lump hammer.

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Millar, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: " Sarah has been left with potentially life-threatening and life-changing injuries that require 24-hour care and are so severe, she is unlikely to ever recover from them."

In interview, Crush tried to justify his actions as a consequence of his own poor mental health and his belief that his wife had been poisoning his food. This mitigation was rejected by the court as there was no evidence to support these claims.

The court heard that Crush had a previous conviction for assaulting his wife, occurring in 2007.

It transpired that the attack had occurred while Sarah was cooking dinner and that after it took place, Stephen Crush went upstairs and sat in the bedroom, not calling emergency services until 11.35pm. This means his wife was left lying on the kitchen floor for potentially a number of hours before he made the call for assistance.

"Not only has this destroyed the life of a 39-year-old woman, but as with most cases of domestic violence, there has been a significant impact on the immediate family too," Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Millar, the Senior Investigating Officer.