Man kills lover by stabbing her 49 times because she wanted to break up

A boyfriend killed his girlfriend by stabbing her 49 times with a knife because she wanted to break up with him.

Joe Atkinson, 25, stabbed Poppy Devey Waterhouse, 24, at the Leeds flat they shared.

She had broken off their three-year relationship in October 2018 but Atkinson couldn't come to terms with it. Fueled by a jealous rage, in the early hours of December 14, he burst into the flat they still shared after arriving home from his work Christmas party and stabbed her.

He inflicted more than 100 separate injuries. These included 49 knife injuries and 23 separate stab wounds all over her body.

Medics rushed to the property after the alarm was raised but it was already too late. The brief inquest hearing was told that a post-mortem examination revealed that Poppy died from "head and neck trauma".

Poppy Devey Waterhouse, who was originally from Frome, in Somerset, was described as a prodigiously talented mathematician. She was brilliant and beautiful and had her whole life ahead of her.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Poppy had been killed 11 days before last Christmas.

In a victim impact statement that was read out in court, Miss Devey Waterhouse's mother, Julie Devey, said:

As a parent, my basic duty is to make sure that I keep my children safe.

I failed, and I have to carry that failure with me at all times, wherever I go, whoever I am with, whatever I am doing.

I kept scraping my hands across the floor boards where she had been left screaming and dying.

I just wanted to scoop her up and save her.

I now live my life with a split-screen, on one half I can see the now, and on the other half that horrific scene.

Last Friday, Atkinson pleaded guilty to murdering Poppy. He was this afternoon jailed for life with a minimum of 15 years.