AN ‘evil’ man who tried to drown his partner in the bath during a ‘terrifying’ attack has been been jailed for 14 years.

Richard Evans held his former partner’s head under the water in the bath at their home in Ronkswood Hill, Worcester until she feared she was going to die. The drunken dad, who is 6ft 3ins tall and 16 and a half stone, was much stronger and more powerful than his 5ft victim. He must serve at least two thirds of the sentence in custody. 
During the attack he subjected her, in his own words, to a ‘verbal onslaught, as he shouted at her, telling her to ‘get in the bath’, warning her to ‘get ready!’ and finally shouting ‘you’re going to die!’ as he held her under.

The jury returned at 3pm today, delivering a unanimous guilty verdict to the attempted murder of Jane Webster following the trial at Worcester Crown Court. The 48-year-old, who had told the jury his ‘my spirit was troubled’, showed no emotion as both the verdict and later the sentence were announced

Evans attacked her after returning home drunk from the Gun Tavern in Worcester, admitting he put her head under the water on three occasions for at least 10 seconds each time during the attack on July 4 last year. He admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill but had denied he intended to kill her.
Evans had been ‘annoyed’ because Mrs Webster had not returned home with him when he left the pub, opting to stay on with her friend, Debbie Heason. It was Mrs Heason who later found Mrs Webster soaking wet, half-naked and hysterical on the landing of the home she shared with Evans. 
Mrs Heason had let herself into their home through an open door after she received reports from the pub landlady that the couple’s dog, Monty, was running about in the road.

Jennifer Josephs, who prosecuted the case, summarised a victim personal statement from Jane Webster. Mrs Webster said she was suffering constantly with lack of sleep and feels 'absolutely devastated' because of what Evans did to her. She said: "Every time I try to go to sleep and close my eyes my mind keeps replying what happened on the night when Richard tried to drown me."

Mrs Webster, a life skills instructor who had helped autistic adults, added: "I can only describe the look on his face as pure evil. It still haunts me and I imagine it will haunt me for the rest of my life."

She also described the pain in her ribs and back after the attack and how it was even uncomfortable to sit down for any length of time. "I rarely do much physical activity because of the pain" she said. Mrs Webster also said she did not want to go anywhere on her own. Despite all he had done to her, she said: "I do not hate Richard."

In the witness box Evans confessed: "I wanted her to feel desperate, yeah. I wanted her to feel she was going to die." He claimed he let her up before she took in any water and 'quite a few times I told her to calm down'. At one stage he told her: "It's a shame it's come to this."

The defendant has previous convictions for dishonesty and for battery against his ex-wife from 2013. An indefinite restraining order was made which prevents Evans having any contact directly or indirectly with Mrs Webster. Nick Berry, defending, said: "This verdict will be a crushing blow for Richard Evans."

Judge Nicolas Cartwright, sentencing, said: “It must have been a terrifying experience as indeed it was. There’s the serious aggravating feature that she was particularly vulnerable at the time.

“This was in the context of domestic violence in the home in which she was living. There was only the two of you there when the offence took place. She was you partner. She should have felt safe and this wasn’t the first time you had been violent towards her.”

Because of the custodial sentence, no order was made for costs or compensation.