Uni student given life sentence after repeatedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend

‘You don’t know what it’s like to kill your girlfriend’, he told prison staff

A uni student who repeatedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend has been given a life sentence.

Uni of Essex student Adam Butt, 23, killed Mary Wells, 21, in a “furious attack” in January last year, at their shared home in Essex.

Last August Butt admitted manslaughter with diminished responsibility, and last Friday (29th July) he was handed a life sentence with a minimum of 12 years.

He will be detained in a secure hospital indefinitely and was told he would spend the remainder of his life on licence. Butt was sentenced under the Mental Health Act.

Mary was American but was travelling in the UK at the time. The court heard how she attempted to fight back against her attacker, but was “no match” for him.

Mary Wells’s family said she ‘will be loved and missed by all’ (image via SWNS)

Butt used two knives to inflict stab wounds. Mark Milleken-Smith, prosecuting, said Mary also suffered compression to her throat and was struck with a dumbbell during the violent assault.

Mr Milleken-Smith said Mary had expressed “exhaustion and frustration” about her relationship, with Butt stating it had become toxic.

The prosecutor said he believed their relationship had soured after “nagging” Butt to seek therapy.

He said Butt’s continued delusions caused him to believe women were “evil”, and Butt launched the unprovoked attack on Mary.

The court heard how after the attack he texted a friend saying he had just “killed a demon”. Butt later told prison staff: “You don’t know what it’s like to kill your girlfriend, I’m a monster”.

Tom Price, mitigating, said it was “quite clear” Butt was going through a psychotic episode, which began in November 2020.

Butt had previously told a friend he was “stuck in a loop of never-ending acid trips”. Evidence heard in court suggested he had heavy drug and alcohol abuse.

Judge Christopher Morgan concluded: “When you voluntarily consume drugs and it triggers a psychotic episode, this shows you have the capacity to kill another human being.

“This was a particularly brutal attack on a young woman. She must’ve been thoroughly terrified.”

Mary’s family, who live in America, called her a “bright” woman.

They said: “She was looking to excel in life and will be loved and missed by all.”

Detective Sergeant Michael Ferguson, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “My thoughts and condolences are very much with Mary’s family at this time.

“This was a tragic incident which claimed the life of a young woman who had everything to look forward to and who should have been able to experience everything that life could offer her for many more years to come.”

Featured image via SWNS

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