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Cambridgeshire grandfather gets life in jail for murder after stabbing man 20 times

A grandfather who murdered his daughter’s ex-partner in a “frenzied attack” with two knives has been jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 20 years.

Lance Woollard, 65, knew 35-year-old Nigel Ebbage would be working from home in Honeysuckle Close, Wimblington, near March, when he visited on the morning of Thursday, April 29.

There he stabbed Mr Ebbage 20 times, leaving his body at the foot of the stairs.

Mr Ebbage’s partner returned home for her lunch at about noon and after making the shocking discovery called police, who arrested Woollard as he drove along the March by-pass at about 1.30pm.

Lance Woollard pleaded guilty to murder
Lance Woollard pleaded guilty to murder

His hands and the steering wheel had blood on them and forensic searches later found one of his fingertips had been sliced off at the crime scene.

The court heard the murder happened just before a court hearing to determine future contact arrangements between Mr Ebbage, Woollard’s daughter and their two children, then living with their mother.

Mr Ebbage had split from the defendant’s daughter in 2016.

Today, Woollard, of Richmond Avenue, March, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court by Judge Farrell after pleading guilty to murder last month.

Detective Inspector Dale Mepstead said: “Lance Woollard knew Nigel was going to be working alone from home that day and he visited with the intention of murdering him.

“It was a frenzied attack and while Nigel tried to defend himself, the wounds he received to the chest were tragically fatal.

Victim Nigel Ebbage
Victim Nigel Ebbage

“Nigel’s loss has had a devastating effect on those who knew and loved him and, while nothing will ever heal that grief, I hope the result today will give them some comfort, knowing that justice has been done.”

The court heard following Mr Ebbage’s split from his ex-partner, there was a fire at his ex-partner’s home. He was accused of the crime and was arrested and charged in June 2018. However, in 2019 he was acquitted of arson.

Mr Ebbage was then allowed contact with his children and a court order was made preventing Woollard from being present at handovers.

A court hearing was due to take place to rule on the future arrangements involving the children and their parents when the murder took place.

Victim Nigel Ebbage
Victim Nigel Ebbage

Woollard refused to answer any questions after his arrest but pleaded guilty on 29 June at Cambridge Crown Court.

Following Nigel's death, his family released the following statement: “We are all devastated and struggling to come to terms with Nigel’s death. He was a family man, he loved his children and family and would do anything for them. He was a fun-loving guy, always cracking a joke. He enjoyed life to the full. He loved the outdoors, especially his kayak.”

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