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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December, 2004, 12:57 GMT
Killer stalker's longer sentence
Stephen Griffiths
Obsessed killer Stephen Griffiths has his sentence increased
An obsessed ex-lover who killed his former girlfriend after a stalking campaign has had prison term increased in a surprise move by the trial judge.

Stephen Griffiths must now spend a minimum of over 15 years in prison.

Griffiths was given a life sentence for killing Rana Faruqui but the judge said in view of the time spent in custody he could be released in 11 years.

He had stabbed Miss Faruqui in the heart in a field near Burnham, Bucks, where she kept horses.

Increasing the minimum term before Griffiths will be able to get before the Parole Board, Mr Justice Silber stressed he had not been influenced by unsolicited correspondence from prosecution lawyers.

He said he had decided on a rehearing before receiving the material.

"Essentially the new sentencing guidelines have led to that increase," said the judge.

Rana Faruqui
Murder victim Rana Faruqui, 35, was stalked by her ex-lover
Reading Crown Court was told at the trial Griffiths, 41, had assembled a massive collection of equipment and murder weapons.

Harrowing call

He headed for the paddock at Jennings Farm stables where his victim was preparing to tether her horse, Toby, for the night.

Miss Faruqui's final moments were recorded in a harrowing call to an emergency services operator who heard her begging her killer: "Leave me alone, leave me alone."

Griffiths, who pleaded guilty to the murder on 13 December was sentenced at Reading Crown Court to life in prison.

But Miss Faruqui's friends and family wept as Mr Justice Silber told Griffiths he could be freed in 11 years and 154 days because of time already spent in custody.

The court had heard the attack followed months of harassment and stalking, including incidents when Griffiths was spotted photographing his former lover's home and rummaging through her bins.

Man jailed for murdering ex-lover
13 Dec 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Ex-lover admits horsewoman murder
10 Dec 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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