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Woman's 999 call terror at hands of Margate death threats husband Stephen Cannaby

By Sian Napier

Canterbury Crown Court

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

A terrified mother-of-three made a desperate 999 call as her estranged husband who had threatened to murder her began banging on the front door.

Teresa Cannaby was heard pleading for help from the operator and urging him to send police officers to her house as fast as possible.

She said her estranged husband Stephen had vowed to kill her - and she believed he had arrived to carry out his threat, Canterbury Crown Court was told.

Cannaby, of Millmead Road, Margate, was jailed for four years after he admitted making threats to kill his wife at an earlier hearing. 

The 41-year-old was on licence from prison at the time of the offence.

"She has bent over backwards it seems to me to help you but you chose alcohol instead of your family..." - Judge Simon James

Judge Simon James told him: "Mrs Cannaby was petrified that you had come to carry out your threats to kill her. She was truly terrified and genuinely believed that you would kill her."

Andrew Forsyth, prosecuting, said Cannaby turned up at his wife's house on October 8 and began banging on the front door. Terrified, she ran upstairs and rang the police.

Mr Forsyth said this incident followed one the previous Christmas Day when Cannaby had put his hands around his wife's throat.

He had drunk 15 cans of lager and some red wine and, when his wife commented on his drinking, he flipped and threatened to strangle her and slit her throat.

Mr Forsyth added: "Cannaby left the house and an hour later his wife received a phone call from him saying he was going to come to the house and drive his van through the front door and kill her.

"He arrived at the house in his van and Mrs Cannaby and her three children ran away and hid behind a neighbour's shed.

"The police arrived and saw Cannaby come out of the house with what looked like a baseball bat and was later found to be a pick-axe handle. 

Judge Simon James

Judge Simon James sits at Canterbury Crown Court

Cannaby was arrested and sent to prison. He was on licence when he committed the latest offence on October 8.

The court heard that leading up to that date, he rang his wife several times saying he would kill her and Mrs Cannaby was so frightened she and the children moved out.

She returned to the home on October 8 briefly to pick up clothes.

The court was told Cannaby had previous convictions for violent disorder, affray, being drunk and disorderly, possessing an offensive weapon, assaulting a police officer, making threats to kill, battery and causing harm. 

Scales of justice

Phil Rowley, defending, said Cannaby's problems arose after drinking. He had suffered unhappy periods in his childhood that had "taken him a long time to come to terms with".

He said he had now accepted his relationship with his wife was over.

"He knows that the impact on his family has been significant," Mr Rowley said.

Judge James told Cannaby: "You were invited to spend Christmas 2011 with your estranged family and instead of using this time to build bridges you attacked your wife.

"She has bent over backwards it seems to me to help you but you chose alcohol instead of your family."

The judge said, after he is released from prison, Cannaby will be on licence for a further two years.

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