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Emma McArthur murder: Christopher Minards could have sentence increased following Attorney General referral

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The murderer of mother-of-two Emma McArthur could have his sentence increased.

Christopher Minards, 35, was jailed for at least 16 years and two months in September after stabbing Ms McArthur, 43, at the junction of Crookham Hill and Burys Bank Road on April 1.

The Solicitor General has referred Minards' sentence to the Court of Appeal as he believes it may be unduly lenient.

The Court of Appeal will decide whether to extend Minards' sentence in December.
The Court of Appeal will decide whether to extend Minards' sentence in December.

A hearing on whether to increase the sentence will take place in December.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said: “The Solicitor General was shocked by this case and wishes to express his sympathies to the family of Emma McArthur.”

“I can confirm that the Solicitor General has referred Minards’ sentence to the Court of Appeal as he agrees that it appears unduly lenient.

Ms McArthur's family said she "touched so many lives".
Ms McArthur's family said she "touched so many lives".

“It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence.”

Minards, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to one count of murder and one count of possession of a bladed article in a public place at Reading Crown Court in August.

At the sentencing in September, the court heard how Ms McArthur, who knew Minards, had prophesied that “something is going to happen and I’m scared” after finding a knife and noose beneath her bed.

The pair had met in 2019 and began dating, and he eventually moved in with her and her children in Kingsclere – but his jealousy and insecurity had caused problems.

Emma McArthur was murdered on April 1. (50026738)
Emma McArthur was murdered on April 1. (50026738)

She revealed to friends he had threatened to kill her and her family and also wanted to bomb people – a threat made more chilling by the discovery of petrol bombs in his rucksack following his arrest for murder.

Minards – who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq – then spent a spell undergoing psychiatric treatment in Prospect Park Hospital in Tilehurst, before being released.

After Ms McArthur had tried to end the relationship, refusing to let him move back in with her, Minards attacked.

Despite an emergency roadside operation performed by paramedics, Ms McArthur died at the scene in the early hours of April 2.

Her family paid tribute to her, saying: “No words can express the sadness and feelings we have as a family at the loss of Emma.

“Emma was a very private person, and would have hated the intrusion into her and her family’s lives.

"Emma was a very strong-minded independent woman, a problem solver, she liked nothing more than stripping down a mower, Ragworting a field or pickling her home-grown chillies.

"Emma was very caring, helping others when needed.

"Emma had a wonderful smile, a giggly laugh, and smiling eyes that could light up a room. She was able to converse with anyone from different backgrounds and different subjects, She was not aware of how many wonderful qualities she had.

"She was a very loving mother to her two children, often going without herself so they could have extra food or toys on birthdays and Christmas.

"There is so much more we could say about her.

"Emma touched so many lives and she leaves us all with good memories that we hope will carry us through the tough times ahead.

"She will always live on in our hearts."

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