A DEPRESSED man who stabbed his cancer-surviving partner to death before plunging a blade into himself eight times was jailed today.

Michael Rough was feeling down about his work when he knifed his girlfriend Jackie Pattenden to death at his home in Crowthorne, Wokingham.

A courtroom packed with Ms Pattenden’s friends and family heard how police received a call from Rough’s home in Ellis Road saying he had stabbed his girlfriend, she was dead and that he was going to kill himself.

When emergency services arrived at the scene they found Ms Pattenden, described by her son as an amazing mother, laid in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor with a stab wound to her chest.

She was declared dead at the scene in October last year.

Rough admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.

Michael Roques, prosecuting, said Rough told police he believed Jackie was “in cahoots” with a friend, Kevin Green, and that the pair were responsible for his financial troubles.

The lawyer said: “He (Rough) phoned 999.

“He said ‘I have just stabbed my girlfriend’ and that she was in the bedroom.

“The operator asked if she was breathing and he replied ‘no she’s dead’.

“He confirmed he was in the bedroom with her and told the operator he was going to stab himself, which he did.

“He said they (Ms Pattenden and Mr Green) had colluded to harm him, to harm his business and to harm him financially.

“He said he had no evidence other than a suspicion.”

Bracknell News:

Jackie Pattenden, 53, was killed by her partner at their house in Ellis Road, Crowthorne in October 2016

Rough later revealed how he confronted Ms Pattenden in the bedroom before bundling her into the corner and stabbing her with a 25 to 30cm fillet knife.

He told police she had begged him not to harm her and that she was frightened.

The prosecutor added: “He said she was panicking and screaming at him.

“He recalled the terror in her face.”

The judge also heard how the tree surgeon was struggling with his finances after he lost a major contract for his business.

Two weeks before the killing he visited his GP and was prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills, although a toxicology report found no trace of the drugs in his system. 

Psychiatrists who interviewed the defendant while he was in custody concluded he had “moderate” depression and his condition was not severe.

Jonathan Whitfield, mitigating, added: “He is truly sorry for what he did and what they (Ms Pattenden's family) now face"

Jailing him for 14 years, Judge John Reddihough said: “However one looks at this case it is of course an utter tragedy. 

"Hearing the effects of the death of Ms Pattenden on her immediate family and friends made for very painful reading. 

"No sentence that this court can impose on this defendant can ever make up for the dreadful loss of life that he has caused." 

Paying tribute to his mother after her death, Phil Pattenden said she had been the happiest he had seen her the whole year after ending cancer treatment.

In a statement he said: "She was amazing and incredibly strong.

“My grandad was unlawfully killed by his partner.

“To go through this once with my grandad was bad enough.

“No matter what life threw at her she would take it in her stride and always remained positive.

“She meant everything to every family member close and distant and to all her friends old and new.

“This was a true reflection to mum’s generous and chatty nature.

“She loved nothing more than going out to the garage with a glass of wine and her two cats and speaking to family members on the phone or by video call.

“I had never seen her so happy. She had just come off her cancer medication and she was ecstatic.

“No matter how long the sentence is it will never be enough for taking my beautiful, kind and funny mother away.”