23 years old Melissa Liddle who is a mother of two children was stabbed to death by her overly possessive and controlling boyfriend who felt that she was cheating on him because ‘the voices in his head told him so’. Liddle, who was a florist by profession, was stabbed 41 times by 24 years Anthony Ross while she slept.
A court heard it was when Miss Liddle failed to contact her family on Mother’s Day her anxious brother and stepfather went to her house and kicked in the front door, while her frantic mother listened to what was happening over the phone.
Describing the horrifying moment they found her dead body, her mother Tracey Keighley told police: ‘I was shouting for them to kick the door in. ‘I heard the sound of them running upstairs. There was tears in my eyes. There was panic as my son screamed for his sister, then it went quiet. ‘I screamed “ no, please”. My husband told me she had gone. I collapsed to the floor.’
Miss Liddle’s stepfather, who raised her, described what he found in the house that day as ‘’. Officers and paramedics were called to the house in Oak Avenue but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Ross, a former gardener and window cleaner, had become convinced she had started an affair through a friend at her work. He told his mother around the time of the killing he had ‘an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other’.
His mental state ‘deteriorated significantly’ two days before Miss Liddle’s death, telling his family time seemed to be ‘moving slow’, he was hearing voices and wanted to stay with his father so he was safe. He had attended a walk in Jarrow, South Tyneside, the day before the killing due to his mental state. He was advised to attend hospital if his condition did not improve.