Jealous Boyfriend Who Stabbed His Girlfriend 29 times Then Read Oscar Wilde After She Met Another Man on an Oxbridge Dating Site
Leon Watson, Daily Mail (London), March 19, 2014
A jealous lover who murdered his girlfriend over her affair with a man she met on a dating site for Oxbridge graduates was jailed for life today.
Jonathan Tebbs, 46, stabbed dedicated town hall chief Kate Dixon 29 times with a Swiss Army knife before reading an Oscar Wilde poem about a man who kills his wife.
He stripped her clothes off and calmly carried her into the shower where he washed the blood from her lifeless body at a flat in Streatham, south London.
The killer attempted to scrub the murder scene clean and then searched on the internet for Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol, which includes the verse: ‘Yet each man kills the thing he loves . . . The coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with the sword.’
Tebbs became enraged after learning Ms Dixon, 41, was in a relationship with a man she met on Blue Match–an upper crust dating website for Oxbridge graduates.
The controlling killer became increasingly possessive after believing that he and Ms Dixon were meant to be together, Southwark Crown Court heard.
He flew into a rage after confronting the council figurehead about her relationship with Mark Baynes when he caught the pair on Skype together.
Today, a jury of seven women and five men took less than three hours to unanimously find Tebbs guilty of murder.
The killer, wearing a black three-piece suit, lavender shirt and blue tie, bowed his head as the verdict was announced while cries of ‘yes’ came from the public gallery packed with Kate’s close friends and family.
A statement prepared on behalf of the grieving family said: ‘Kate’s shocking death has deprived Kate of a life she enjoyed and richly deserved.
‘It has deprived Kate and Mark Baynes of the life that they were planning together and were looking forward too very much.
‘It has deprived the council of a manager who contributed much to services she was involved in and it has deprived her close colleagues and friends of Kate’s company.’
Sacha Wass QC, defending, said Tebbs ‘lost his temper’, adding: ‘He clearly loved her, he clearly felt unable to cope without her and because of his personality traits, it was much more difficult for him to intellectualise, which he clearly tried to do but clearly failed to do, because of his actions on that night.’
Ms Dixon, who was joint head of strategy, equality and performance at Islington Council, started a tumultuous 12-year romance with Tebbs after meeting him on a Tube train.
But she became disillusioned and on numerous occasions tried to end the relationship despite being ‘fearful’ of Tebbs and ‘frightened of what he was capable of’.
On the night of the killing, Ms Dixon finally plucked up the courage to end the relationship with Tebbs after he caught her Skyping Mr Baynes.
Tebbs, who taped his conversations with Ms Dixon, made his final ever recording of his girlfriend just shortly before he stabbed her to death.
Jurors were played the chilling two-and-a-half-hour recording which began after Tebbs had snatched Ms Dixon’s phone away from her, demanding to know more about her new romance.
Ms Dixon told Tebbs that she wanted to end their relationship but the jealous lover quickly interrupted and went on an hour-long unbroken rant, accusing her of cheating on him because of her difficult relationship with her father.
The court heard that Ms Dixon had undergone psychotherapy after meeting her biological father for the first time.
Tebbs began raising his voice when she refused to tell him exactly where her new boyfriend was from in the Midlands.
He shouted at her that she had ‘destroyed their relationship’ by seeing Mr Baynes and then demanded to know whether they had sex.
Tebbs barked: ‘He comes from Birmingham, has cups of coffee, gives you a kiss, and then says goodbye–is that it?’
In the final moments of the recording, Tebbs said: ‘You have no f*****g respect for me whatsoever, you continue to lie even now’.
The tape cut out shortly before Tebbs stabbed Ms Dixon to death with his Swiss Army knife.
Tebbs, who bowed his head in the dock and stared down at the floor while the tape was played, wiped tears from his eyes once it had finished.
Giving evidence, he denied being a possessive or controlling partner and claimed Ms Dixon had no reason to be scared of him.
‘I was very supportive of her, and I think she developed and grew as a person and a woman over the years, and I was proud to see that happen and as a result of that I fell in love with her even more’, he said.
The pair planned to move in together in September 2012, but Tebbs’ discovery of an online dating flyer on the day of the move led to their fourth break up in 12 years.
Tebbs said of the final row: ‘She was leading up to say the relationship wasn’t working and I was trying to rationalise it.’
She told me: ‘Our relationship is over. I said “Do you really mean this?” She looked me in the eye and said ‘Life is unfair.
‘I said with incredulity “I can’t believe it”–I grabbed the knife off the laptop and by the time she moved back I didn’t say anything else, I just stabbed her.’
He added: ‘I can’t believe I did it, I can’t believe it was me.’
Tebbs had told the court how he ultimately dialled 999, but this was only done at 10am the following morning after he had dragged her body to the bathroom to undress and wash her.
In the hours after the murder Tebbs researched Oscar Wilde poetry and how to write a will online, before withdrawing cash and emailing his sister with the line: ‘I stabbed her’.
On July 1 he contacted police when he handed them a five-page statement. He was charged with murder the following day.
Tributes flooded in for Ms Dixon, with colleagues describing her as the ‘best manager they ever had’.
The council figurehead was responsible for some of the biggest projects focusing on helping vulnerable people in Islington, including underprivileged children.
Tebbs, of Finsbury Park, north London, was convicted of murder.
He had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Sentencing Tebbs to life imprisonment and ordering he serve at least 19 years, Judge McCreath said: ‘Kate Dixon, of whom we have heard much during this trial and of whom we have heard more from the moving statement read to the court this morning, was a good, kind and much loved woman.
‘The evidence I have heard makes it plain that even from the time she tried to end her relationship with you, a combination of that kindness, her affection for you and the domination you exercised over her made it impossible for her to do so.
‘The evidence also shows that whilst you are, as I recognise, a man of virtues, you are also a man who needs to be in control of those you are close to and you are a man with quick temper.’
The judge said the break-up ‘cannot have come to you as a bolt out of the blue’.
‘Everything she said to you that night she had already told you or tried to on the previous Monday night. You stabbed her many, many times.
‘She tried her best to defend herself against the brutal attack and–on your own account–begged you to stop. I accept that this was not premeditated.
‘The fact remains that this was a ferocious attack on a defenceless, vulnerable woman, a woman much smaller than you and in her own home, with a knife.
‘Your reaction was not to seek any sort of help but instead you cleared up the scene of this dreadful event and manufactured a false account of what had happened.
‘You will remain in prison for a minimum term which I must now set. The sentence on you is imprisonment for life, with a minimum term of 20 years, less the time you have spend in custody on remand.’
Tebbs stared down at the floor as he was sentenced while grieving relatives and friends looked on.
Detective Inspector Louise Knipe, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: ‘What was clear to us throughout this investigation was that Kate Dixon had finally summoned the courage she needed to leave Tebbs.
‘However he was of the mindset that if he couldn’t have her, no one else would. He wouldn’t allow her to leave and he made sure of that by brutally stabbing her to death.
‘Tebbs’s behavior was not as a result, as he tried to portray in court, loss of control at suddenly finding out about the new person Miss Dixon had met.
‘He knew about this in the week before he killed her and after he did, he was clear-headed. He scrubbed the flat, he was organised and he was putting his house in order. I’m pleased the jury rejected his claims today and convicted him of murder.’