Indeterminate prison term for would-be killer
AN 'EVIL' pensioner from Penzance who subjected his former wife to a year of harassment before trying to murder her new lover in a frenzied knife attack has been told he might die in jail.
Raibeart Browne, 70, was handed an indeterminate prison sentence when he appeared at Truro Crown Court on Friday afternoon.
Browne, of Alexandra Road, became obsessed with his former wife Sally Gale after their 36-year marriage broke down and he hunted her down and stabbed her new partner Robert Norrington on the doorstep of their Mount Hawke home on December 30, last year.
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During his trial in July, he claimed that he acted in self-defence but the jury unanimously found him guilty of attempted murder.
Browne, who worked as a builder and is a former piper in the Queen's Own Highlanders, was also found guilty of three further charges: having an offensive weapon and breaching two restraining orders barring him from contacting Mr Norrington or Ms Gale.
The jury heard that he turned up at the house with a box containing fruit and vegetables, a rubber mallet and a kitchen knife, and cable ties in his pocket, and knocked on the door.
When Mr Norrington answered the door, Browne attacked, spraying chemicals into his eyes and stabbing him three times in the chest.
That attack was an escalation of a series of incidents which started nearly 12 months earlier when Browne tracked down Ms Gale to her new home in Perranporth in January and attacked her, putting his hands around her throat.
In the months that followed, Browne was in and out of court for breaching restraining orders and was jailed on two occasions.
Michael Melville-Shreeve, for the defence, said Browne was using his time in prison to gain qualifications in mathematics and English, and was going to be trained as a mentor for younger inmates.
Sentencing Browne to indeterminate life imprisonment, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said he was satisfied that Brown posed a significant risk to members of the public and in particular Ms Gale and Mr Norrington.
After the hearing, Detective Constable Dave Fortey, who investigated the case, described Browne as an "evil, calculating and manipulative man" who engaged in relentless harassment of his former wife and her new partner.
He said: "Despite previous terms of imprisonment and restraining orders, the intensity and severity of his campaign rapidly escalated, concluding in the attempt to murder Robert Norrington and possibly his former wife.
"Life imprisonment is the only suitable sentence for Browne and hopefully will allow the victims to continue their lives without the need to constantly look over their shoulders."
Browne was told he would serve a minimum of seven years before being eligible for release but that a parole board would have to be satisfied that he was no longer a threat to the public before he was freed from jail.