Ex-soldier who tried to kill lover he met on Match.com jailed for life

Ex-soldier who attempted to murder lover, 53, he met on Match.com by stabbing her 29 times before trying to kill himself by jumping into a river is jailed for life

  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
  • An ex-soldier tried to murder his lover he met online by stabbing her 29 times
  • Martina Turner, 53, survived the attack in Gateshead by Steven Wood, 54
  • He stabbed Ms Turner in her home before locking the door and leaving her to die
  • The ex-soldier, who tried to kill himself after the attack, was jailed for life today

An ex-soldier who tried to murder his lover he met on Match.com by stabbing her 29 times before trying to kill himself by jumping in a river was jailed for life today.

Martina Turner, 53, a college teacher from Gateshead, ‘miraculously’ survived the unprovoked attack by former soldier Steven Wood, 54, who locked her in the house to die after he stabbed her.

Ms Turner had left a 20-year marriage two years earlier met Wood on dating website Match.com after deciding to give internet dating a go two years after a previous 20-year marriage ended.  

At Newcastle Crown Court today Wood was jailed for life after he admitted to attempted murder. He must serve at least 12 years before he can apply for parole. 

As he tried to kill Ms Turner in the kitchen of her home the soldier told her: ‘I have to finish you off because I’m not going to prison.’

He then drove to the Redheugh Bridge in Newcastle and jumped into the River Tyne in an attempt to take his own life but was rescued by a police boat. 

Ms Turner was found lying in a pool of her own blood with a knife stuck in her chest and a catalogue of brutal injuries across her body, arms and hands. 

She had 29 wounds from two knives across her body. One of the stab wounds was inflicted with such force it fractured ribs and caused bone to become lodged in her lung, where it has remained. 

Ms Turner told court: ‘I was so besotted, so much in love with Steven. 

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT Martina Turner, 53, a college teacher from Gateshead, ‘miraculously’ survived the unprovoked attack by former soldier Steven Wood, 54, who locked her in the house to die after he stabbed her 29 times


Ms Turner (left) was found lying in a pool of her own blood with a knife stuck in her chest and a catalogue of brutal injuries across her body, arms and hands. Judge Paul Sloan QC said Wood (right) ignored his victim’s pleas during the attack and showed a ‘determination to finish her off’

‘We had been living together for over a year, we had planned the rest of our lives together. 

‘Now, I have to live with the act the man I loved, that I tried to help, that I believed was charming, my soulmate, could turn into a monster and attack me, telling me when I begged for my life he would have to finish me off. 

‘I feel now so naive, so stupid, so manipulated.’ 

She added it was ‘miraculous’ that she survived the attack and added: ‘He left me to die with a knife embedded in my chest when I was lying in a pool of my own blood. 

‘People die from one stab wound, I had 29.’ 

As he tried to kill Ms Turner in the kitchen of her home the soldier told her: ‘I have to finish you off because I’m not going to prison.’ He then drove to the Redheugh Bridge in Newcastle and jumped into the River Tyne in an attempt to take his own life but was rescued by a police boat (pictured)

Ms Turner said she ignored ‘red flags’, such as Wood acting controlling and paranoid during the relationship but knew he had mental health problems, including bipolar, which she accepted and thought he was an industrious and thoughtful businessman.

After connecting with him on dating website Match.com she took precautions before they met in person, such as chatting over FaceTime and always telling a friend where she was during dates. 

She initially thought Wood was a ‘charming’ man with similar interests to her.

Ms Turner told the court she now sees him as a ‘ticking timebomb’ who has left her with scars that serve as a permanent reminder of what he did to her. 

Ms Turner said: ‘Crowds make me scared, I have to sit with my back against the wall so no one is behind me. 

‘I can’t stand queues, I’m constantly looking over my shoulder. 

‘I’m terrified of knives, my son has to help me cut things in the kitchen. 

‘I hate the darkness, I only walk my dog during the day with friends and don’t go out in the dark. 

‘I used to leave my doors open for my kids to come in and out but now they are always locked. 

‘He says he doesn’t know why he did it. That shows how he is dangerous, if he doesn’t know why he is a ticking time bomb. 

‘I survived but the next woman may not. That’s why I hope he doesn’t get out.’

Newcastle Crown Court (pictured) heard Wood has a previous conviction for GBH on a former partner who he attacked after climbing up a drainpipe into her home (File image)

Judge Paul Sloan QC said Wood, who has a history of mental health problems, ignored his victim’s pleas during the attack and showed a ‘determination to finish her off’. 

The judge said he was satisfied Wood was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the attack but had not been taking his medication as directed and therefore had a high level of responsibility for his actions. 

The judge said Wood was a ‘dangerous’ offender. 

He told Wood: ‘I am satisfied you pose a high risk of danger to the public and there is no reliable estimate of the length of time you will remain a danger.’ 

Judge Sloan said the attack was a ‘life-changing event’ for the victim and ‘her recovery has been painful, long, slow and will never be complete.’ 

The court heard Wood has a previous conviction for GBH on a former partner who he attacked after climbing up a drainpipe into her home.

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