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Chloe West's attacker had chilling 'to-do' list on phone, court hears
11:20pm Friday 23rd September 2011 in Pensnett
TEENAGER Samuel Gayzer-Tomlinson who tried to stab 14-year-old ex-girlfriend Chloe West to death outside the school gates kept a chilling 'to-do' list on his mobile phone before carrying out the "horrific" attack, a court heard today (Friday).
The 18-year-old A level student, from Sedgley, stabbed the Ridgewood High School pupil 20 times about the face, neck and upper body as she walked to school with friends on April 1.
Gayzer-Tomlinson, who went to Bishop Milner School, carried out the "ferocious attack" on the schoolgirl he had met at a riding school after she stopped returning his messages and calls - Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
Hugh O'Brien-Quinn, prosecuting, told the packed courtroom the bespectacled teenager had been "unable to take this rejection" and shortly afterwards began to plan his revenge.
Despite not having a driving licence he bought a car, which he began parking a short distance from his home, and he typed up a sinister "things to do list" on his mobile phone. Entries included: buy two false number plates, buy face-paint and make-up remover, buy petrol and two cans, buy masking tape, buy knife.
Then on the morning of the attack, the court heard, the teenager was seen speeding up and down Park Road West in Wollaston in his VW Golf before approaching Chloe and her friends outside the school gates.
Having dyed his brown hair a blue/black colour and swapped his glasses for contact lenses, his former girlfriend only realised who he was when he asked her "why haven't you replied?". The prosecution solicitor continued: "Chloe told him to get lost and the defendant grabbed her in a headlock". Gayzer-Tomlinson, clenching an eight-inch knife he'd taken from his mum's kitchen, then began punching the schoolgirl in the head with the weapon before repeatedly stabbing her. The attack continued as she fell to the ground. Hero student Ben Hudson, however, dashed to her aid and rugby tackled Gayzer-Tomlinson and pinned him down.
But the determined attacker - described by one witness as "proper going for it like in that film Psycho" - managed to get up and continued to stab Chloe until three teachers alerted by witnesses jumped in and dragged him down.
The teenager, who confessed at the scene "I did it because she wouldn't go out with me", pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Chloe as well as unlawfully wounding Ben Hudson and possession of an offensive weapon.
Sarah Jayne Buckingham, defending, said in mitigation Gayzer-Tomlinson - who had no previous convictions - had been suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts and severe insomnia, sleeping only hour a night, before the attack. She said the bright A level student had sought help from his GP and counselling had been offered but the appointment "came through after these events".
Miss Buckingham added: "Had the severity of his problems been recognised in the proceeding weeks and treated it's highly unlikely he would have committed such an offence."
"He sought help and he didn't get it."
She said Gayzer-Tomlinson had 'failed to understand" why Chloe had ended the relationship, which the prosecution described as "more emotional than physical" and conducted mostly through texts, telephone calls and Facebook.
She said her client had not "made excuses for his actions" and it was her belief he was intending to kill himself afterwards as he had left in his car £185 cash, spare petrol cans and a map with directions to the base of Mount Snowdon. She added: "He's not a monster, he's a young man who plainly had mental health problems."
Judge John Warner, however, told the teenager: "This was a terrible thing you did on that April day." He said for Chloe the relationship had been "simply a friendship" but Gayzer-Tomlinson had elevated it in his mind to something much more intense and he added: "You could not accept your position and obviously it festered in your mind - and you launched a ferocious attack on her."
Gayzer-Tomlinson, who had been planning a career as a vet, showed no emotion as he was sentenced to 13 years detention in a young offender's institution for the attack which left Chloe needing 48 stitches and Ben with a cut to his finger.
The judge said Chloe was making a "remarkable recovery albeit she's been left with scars" and he added: "Her victim impact statement speaks volumes for her positive outlook on life."
He said Gayzer-Tomlinson would be released on licence after serving half his sentence but he imposed a restraining order warning him never to go within 500 metres of Chloe upon his release from prison.
The judge also spoke out in praise of the gutsy actions of teenager Ben Hudson, saying: "That young man is very much to be commended for his brave actions."
After the hearing Detective Inspector Wayne Jones welcomed the 13-year sentence meted out, saying: "It's an excellent sentence but one that's deserved for the planning and carrying out of that horrific attack. If it hadn't been for his guilty plea he would have got 18 years."
He also credited Chloe's pal Ben Hudson with saving her life, saying: "With no thought for his own safety, he tackled the offender and got him to the floor. I'm sure that without Ben Hudson Chloe would not be with us today."