Joe O’Riordan sentenced to 20 years for attempted murder

Joseph O'Riordan and his wife Amanda in happier times
Joseph O'Riordan and his wife Amanda in happier times

The former secretary of the 1066 Licensed Victuallers’ Association in Hastings has been sentenced to 20 years in prison today for trying to kill his wife Amanda after he found out she had a brief affair.

Joe O’Riordan was sentenced this morning (April 22) at Brighton Law Court.

He was also made the subject of a restraining order and has been banned from contacting his wife in any way.

The 74-year-old, from Brookside Avenue, Polegate, was convicted of attempted murder yesterday (April 21).

He attacked Amanda on October 22 with a nine-inch kitchen knife, raining nine blows down on her chest, abdomen, arms and hand.

The prosecution said Mrs O’Riordan’s short affair with the couple’s former postman Nick Gunn was a ‘catalyst’ for the attack.

Sentencing, Judge Shani Barnes, Honorary Recorder of Brighton & Hove, said, “You had dedicated your life to serving your community and conducting works for charity.

“But like most of us we are not all good and bad.

“Amanda O’Riordan said that on October 22 of last year you walked calmly from the bedroom, selected out of a vast range of implements the largest kitchen knife and walked back into the room without any sign of a sudden loss of temper or panic.

“There was no manic agitation.

“You were resigned that this is what she had driven you to do.

“In the nine minutes before you relented and called 999 I believe you used your full strength and determination to try to kill Amanda O’Riordan.

“And I believe you did that as you would not, could not, contemplate her leaving you.

“You lunged at her again and again inflicting the most terrible injuries, any one of which could have, but fortunately did not, kill her.

“I have seen the terrible physical scars that she has been left with, which undoubtedly will be with her for many, many years, if not forever.

“I am aware of the psychological trauma she suffers nightly, unable to sleep, waking up screaming, trying to fight you off. That will stay with her indefinitely.

“The damage you have done to her is absolutely terrible.

“You have not taken responsibility of what you did to her that night.

“I have never heard a woman who is so badly treated by a husband, speak of him with such love and devotion.

“You were not going to lose control of your relationship. You tracked her.

“You looked online for signs of infidelity. You monitored the mileage, where she had been.

“When you thought that you would lose her you told her you would kill yourself and she told you she would stay.

“You knew when she promised that she was not even seeing or talking to him {Nick Gunn}, you knew that was not true. I believe you contemplated killing her and then yourself and I believe that is what the letters to your children were about.

“I believe there was some planning to what you did.”

“And that night, when she would not take off her coat or shoes, you knew she was going to leave. The drastic situation required drastic action, and that is what you took.

“You picked the largest knife and in a callous and methodical manner you thrust it into your wife, not once, not twice, but up to eight times.

“You spent all your energy, and you relented and called 999.

“And I am afraid to say I do not believe you have any remorse for what you have done. I believe you are a continued danger to Amanda O’Riordan.

“I also take into account the attempts afterwards to have your son remove the evidence that was incriminating against you.”

She sentenced O’Riordan to 20 years, ten which will be spent in prison, and the remainder on licence.

Judge Barnes also set out a restraining order, forbidding O’Riordan to contact his wife directly and indirectly, for the rest of their lives.

Ex-secretary of 1066 LVA guilty of attempted murder