Cambridgeshire man facing life in jail for murder of St Ives man and attempted murder of woman

Andrew Hasler
Andrew Hasler

A man has admitted murdering a 28-year-old by stabbing him to death and the attempted murder of a 27-year-old woman.

Matthew Sharpe, 40, killed Andrew Hasler and seriously injured his ex-girlfriend Charna Knights in Houghton Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

GUILTY: Matthew Sharpe

GUILTY: Matthew Sharpe

Mr Hasler suffered multiple stab wounds to his chest and died at the scene and Ms Knights was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and survived her injuries.

The attacks happened on January 8 and police had been called at around 12.40pm.

Sharpe appeared at Cambridge Crown Court by video-link from Bedford Prison in a brief hearing on Friday.

Wearing glasses and a black T-shirt, he spoke only to confirm his identity and to enter his guilty pleas.

Judge David Farrell warned him: “There’s only one sentence I can impose and that’s life imprisonment.

“I will hear submissions to determine the minimum period you must serve.”

Sharpe, of Humberley Close, Eynesbury, St Neots, was remanded in custody to be sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday April 7.

Detectives were told how one of Andrew’s neighbours had gone round to the house after he heard a commotion going on inside. He was confronted by Sharpe on top of Charna, repeatedly stabbing her while Andrew lay severely injured on the floor.

The neighbour managed to pull Sharpe off Charna and kick the knife out of his hand before restraining him, however he managed to get away.

The neighbour left the house to call for help. Police were deployed and while on route to Houghton Road another officer reported they had stopped a silver Peugeot at the Harrison Road Bridge over the River Ouse in St Ives and the suspect had jumped into the river.

He was pulled out and found to have self-inflicted injuries. Sharpe was taken to hospital where he remained for two nights before being transferred to Parkside Police Station in Cambridge on January 10 and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Detective Inspector Lucy Thomson, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Charna suffered multiple stab wounds and thankfully made a recovery, however medics were unable to save Andrew.

“Although suffering multiple stab wounds, a post-mortem examination of Andrew concluded he died of a single stab wound to his heart.

“I would like to pay tribute to the selfless bravery of Andrew’s next-door neighbour who put his own life at risk in order to help Charna, his actions that day ultimately saved her life.”

The court heard that he had appeared for the plea hearing by video-link owing to concerns for his health, but would be produced to court for sentencing when the prosecution would outline full details of the case.

In a statement, Mr Hasler’s family paid tribute, saying: “Andrew was a much-loved son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend.

“Kind-hearted and living his life to the full, he came into the world early and has left us far too soon.

“We miss you, Andrew.”