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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Wife jailed for love rival attack
Alethea Foster
Mrs Foster admitted stabbing her love rival
A woman who stabbed her husband's ex-lover 17 times has been cleared of attempted murder but jailed for causing grievous bodily harm.

Alethea Foster, 61, of Bromley, south London, stabbed Cambridge University student Julie Simpson when she learned of their 15-year affair via e-mails.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth sentenced Foster to 30 months for causing grievous bodily harm.

He said she would serve half the sentence before being released.

I now look forward to getting on with my life, and, I hope, resuming my studies in October
Julie Simpson

Foster was also cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Miss Simpson, 45, lost the sight of one eye and suffered a punctured lung in the attack in her room at Lucy Cavendish College in October 2005.

Jurors at Cambridge Crown Court heard that Miss Simpson, who lives in Beckenham, south London, had been involved in an affair with Mrs Foster's husband John, 58, for more than 15 years.

The court heard they had met in the 1980s when both were working as journalists for the BBC in Westminster.

Foster, a retired foot specialist who is an honorary consultant at King's College Hospital, south London, accepted responsibility for Miss Simpson's injuries but said she had no memory of the attack.

Julie Simpson
Miss Simpson was left blind in one eye by the attack

Foster entered no plea to the charge of causing grievous bodily harm which jurors were offered as an alternative to the two she denied.

After the hearing Det Con Karen Brown, who led the investigation, said she was satisfied with the decision of the court.

"I hope today's verdict and sentence will afford all those involved some sense of relief and enable them to move on with their lives."

Miss Simpson said she wanted to thank the paramedics and medical teams whose skill and expertise saved her life.

"I would like to thank everyone else that came to my aid on that day. I now look forward to getting on with my life, and, I hope, resuming my studies in October," she added.

Devastating effect

Mr Foster said the private tragedy had had a devastating effect on everyone who had been caught up in the aftermath.

"I still find it almost impossible to believe that the kind, loving and gentle woman with whom I have lived for the best of 40 years could be capable of doing such a thing," he said.

His wife's bail conditions meant the couple had not spoken for almost six months.

"It is right I should talk to her privately before making any decisions about the future," he said.

Alethea Foster's husband reacts to the verdict

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