Man jailed for seven years over death of wife's lover Date published: 25th October 2016 2.11pm

A man who attacked his estranged wife’s lover outside the family home has today been jailed for seven years.

Stephen Cotterill, aged 39, of Brinton Close in Widnes was today (Tuesday, October 25) sentenced for the attack on Matthew Charnock, which took place earlier this year on March 13, 2016.

It follows a three-week trial at Chester Crown Court which concluded earlier this month. The jury had heard that Cotterill returned home from work early to find his estranged wife Natasha – with whom he still shared the marital home – and Mr Charnock eating a Chinese takeaway together.

On hearing his arrival, Mr Charnock left the house through the back door, but came face-to-face with Cotterill on a path down the side of the house.

Cotterill was holding a wheel brace and struck Mr Charnock to the head and arm . He was later taken to Whiston Hospital by ambulance but later discharged. However, his condition deteriorated and he sadly passed away in the early hours of March 16.

Cotterill had handed himself into to Widnes Police station on March 15, and he was charged the next day.

On October 3, the jury found Cotterill guilty of manslaughter. Today, at Liverpool Crown Court, he was sentenced to a jail term of seven years, of which he will serve a minimum of three and a half years.

Sentencing him, Judge Alan Conrad told Cotterill that his actions had taken away a life of promise. He told Cotterill that when he saw the figure running away, he was satisfied that Cotterill had suspected it was Mr Charnock and that he took the wheel brace from his car, struck at least two blows to his head and arm and that those blows were made in anger towards him.

Detective Inspector Simon Blackwell, who led the investigation, said: “Matthew thought he was okay after being assaulted and he did receive initial medical treatment however, sadly, the blow he had suffered to his head was much more serious than anticipated and he died from his injuries just over two days later.

“The judge recognised that Cotterill had deliberately struck the blows to Matthew to cause him harm, knowing that in all likelihood he knew who he was.

“It’s been an extremely tough period for Matthew’s family. They have lost someone that they held very dear to their hearts and for them there’s nothing that could repair the damage Cotterill has caused them. The judge commented that their conduct throughout proceedings had been impeccable, and that’s to their credit.”