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Scarred mum and son who survived

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

"HE TRIED to kill me and I knew he would do it again" - these are the haunting words of Ipswich mother Margaret Hill who survived at the hands of murderer Mark Spurling.

"HE TRIED to kill me and I knew he would do it again" – these are the haunting words of Ipswich mother Margaret Hill who survived at the hands of murderer Mark Spurling.

Spurling was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday after stabbing his girlfriend 14 times in a copy cat attack of what he did to Margaret ten years earlier.

Today she no longer needs to look over her shoulder or think about what he could be doing to other women as Spurling begins the prison sentence she knows he deserves.

Sitting with her son Stuart, 27, at their home in Whitton they stressed Spurling is in the right place and women everywhere would now be a lot safer.

She said: "I lay awake thinking last night about the people who went to visit him in prison and if they thought perhaps in some way we deserved it. Maybe they will think again now."

The 48-year-old, a kitchen assistant at Whitton Primary School told how she felt when she heard that her former boyfriend had been charged with murder in April.

She said: "I was in a shop at the time and they had to sit me down.

"I know what that woman suffered and she just did not make it - that is what is so sad."

Margaret, who lived in Goldsmith Road at the time, was only with Spurling for eight months but ended the relationship after he began show violence towards her.

She said: "Funnily enough when I met him he definitely was not my type, but everyone else loved him and thought he was great."

But two weeks after she ended it, Spurling lay in wait for her in her back garden armed with a knife and a shotgun, with a balaclava rolled up into a hat.

In a copy cat attack it was the same scenario which greeted his latest victim as she went to open the shop where she worked early in the morning.

Margaret was lucky two of her sons were babysitting for her four younger children and heard her screams as he beat her around the head with a shotgun to shut her up.

He then stabbed her 12 times although at the time she said she thought he was just punching her.

But on that occasion, Spurling spent just 23 months in jail after being given a five-year sentence for wounding with intent.

Her son Stuart, now 27 said how the images of that night will never leave him and how when they watched Spurling being lead from Norwich Crown Court ten years ago he turned and laughed at his watching victim.

He said: "I woke up and went downstairs when I heard mum's screams.

"The worst thing was trying to open the back door - I just could not do it through the panic.

"I wondered last night what he was thinking now about how he could put a knife 26 times in two women's bodies."

"I feel cleansed now - it feels good."

Margaret is still on medication for her nerves and believes she always will be while her daughter Lia, 25 still suffers nightmares.

She said: "But I have fought back because of my kids. "I knew I had to come home for them so I fought it."

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