BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 25 January, 2002, 15:45 GMT
Son jailed for killing woman's lover
Dan Smith
Dan Smith was a doctor at Exeter General Hospital
A man who launched a frenzied attack on a doctor who he caught in bed with his mother's friend has been jailed for life.

Dean Chesters' victim, a hospital registrar, later died from "fearful" brain damage.

Southwark Crown Court was told on Friday Chesters had only been released from prison six months before after serving a sentence for biting through a man's ear.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard Chesters was "outraged" after finding his mother's friend in bed with Dan Smith after the couple had had sex.

Bathroom escape

Chesters, 20, had spent the evening drinking heavily and took just one look at the late-night love scene before launching the attack.

He lashed out repeatedly, gashing his victim's eyebrow, breaking his nose.

He then forced Mr Smith to his knees to wipe his own blood from the carpet.

Finally the "petrified" Exeter General Hospital doctor broke away, hurled his clothes out of the bathroom window and clambered onto the window ledge in a bid to escape, the court heard.

Marks on the sill suggested Mr Smith had tried to angle a jump so he would land on some nearby steps.

Instead, he apparently lost his grip, missed them completely and hit a concrete patio 22 feet below.

Mandatory sentence

Mr Smith suffered severe head injuries and later died.

Chesters, of Sheen Road, Richmond, Surrey, who had admitted causing the doctor actual bodily harm but denied manslaughter, was found guilty by a jury in December of the more serious charge.

After the verdict, the court heard that six months before the November 2000 killing, he had been released from a one-year sentence.

Chesters had served the jail term for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which involved him biting through his victim's ear.

Family's loss

After he was found guilty in this latest case Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, warned him that under the so-called "two strikes and you're out" legislation he faced a mandatory life sentence unless there were exceptional circumstances.

On Friday Judge Rivlin ruled there were none and therefore, he said, he had no option but impose the punishment.

Detective Chief Inspector Guy Ferguson said on hearing the sentence: "My thoughts are with the Smith family - they've lost a wonderful son. I hope that today's sentence offers them some comfort.

"This was an appalling crime arising from an unprovoked and apparently motiveless attack. The sentence today reflects this.

"Dean Chesters is an extremely violent and aggressive young man which society needs protecting from. "

Click here for more from Southern Counties

Click here to go to Devon
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories