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Convicted murderer Nicholas Fryers stabbed woman at Sainsbury’s depot in Dartford while on day release

A convicted killer who stabbed a woman 76 times with a screwdriver in a car park has been convicted of attempted murder.

Nicholas Fryers, who has served more than 30 years for murder In 1993, was working on day release when he attacked his victim.

A woman in her 20s was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver at the Sainbury's depot in Rennie Drive, Dartford. Picture: Google
A woman in her 20s was stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver at the Sainbury's depot in Rennie Drive, Dartford. Picture: Google

At one point, the 56-year-old even asked his victim: "Do you want to die?"

Fryers had breached prison rules while working at a Sainsbury's distribution centre in Dartford.

His victim told him she planned to report him to the authorities – and he faced losing his privileges and being sent back to a higher-category jail.

Fryers said he was angry with his “friend", adding: "I wanted to hurt her, but I couldn't live with myself if I had killed her."

They had heard how Fryers was allowed his own car to travel from prison to the Sainsbury depot.

The incident was caught on CCTV but Fryers refused to watch it as it was played to the court.

After several days of the trial, Fryers changed his plea to guilty for wounding with intent but still denied attempted murder.

Earlier, he had refused to answer questions and demanded to return to the cells.

After being given a period of reflection, he returned to the witness box still refusing to watch the CCTV footage.

Fryers said he lives with the murder he committed 30 years ago "every single day,” before adding: “I wouldn't put anyone including myself through that ever again."

His frenzied 140-second attack was caught on camera after meeting his fellow worker in April this year.

As the incident was unfolding two men, who also worked at the site, separately entered the car park and tried to intervene to stop the assault.

Fryers then got into his vehicle and fled the car park. The victim was able to run from the scene and obtain first aid before later being taken to Darent Valley Hospital and treated for her injuries.

Before Fryers drove out of the car park, one of the men who attempted to intervene was able to remove his car registration plate.

A jury heard the victim's thick outer clothing "may have saved her life" as the blows were delivered.

‘Do you want to die?’

After the savage attack, Fryers fled to Lancashire where he was later arrested at the Charnock Richard motorway stop after trying to ram a police car.

The victim, who worked as a "trainer and buddy" for new employees at the depot, met Fryers who was under a scheme from HMP Standford Hill on Sheppey, which allowed inmates to work there.

Prosecutor Ali Dewji told the jury how the victim was assigned to train Fryers, of no fixed address.

He explained: "As they worked together, the two became friendly and exchanged phone numbers. At one point, he offered to give her a lift from Dartford railway station to and from the centre on the days when they were both due to work.

"She accepted, and he began giving her a lift on a regular basis, although he was on strict license conditions at the time.

"He was required to travel by the most direct route to and from the centre and detouring to the railway station to pick up a friend or work colleague was a clear breach of that condition."

The prosecutor added: "This was risky behaviour by Fryers because the temporary release is not an entitlement, it is at the discretion of the prison.

Fryers was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court. Picture: Stock image
Fryers was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court. Picture: Stock image

"Breaching the terms and conditions of his temporary release could result in him losing his temporary license and being recalled to prison. It could also result in him being moved from open conditions to closed conditions which are much more strict.

Mr Dewji added that it could potentially hurt his eligibility for release on parole.

He said: "Fryers took that risk in order to cultivate his friendship with her. He deliberately parked in a far corner of the distribution centre’s car park to avoid attention.

"However, over time, Fryers’s behaviour toward her became obsessive, which took many forms, including messaging her and her partner excessively and sending her explicit videos."

Then during a conversation Fryers said he wanted to become her "boyfriend on the side, but without the sex".

Mr Dewji added that she rejected the idea and said she was not interested in men.

He claimed there was an argument when she discovered that Fryers had been keeping photos of her on his phone without her knowledge.

"She said she didn't want him to have them and tried to delete them," Mr Dewji told the court. “When she did, Fryers launched himself at her which made her feel unsafe.

‘He had a dangerous look on his face that she hadn’t seen before...’

“He had a dangerous look on his face that she hadn’t seen before and he said some nasty things at this point. "

Later, Fryers urged her to reconsider the ending of their friendship and he demanded that she repay the money he’d spent on gifts for her.

"She threatened that if he persisted in demanding money he would be reported for the prison breaches."

The defendant then went missing for “quite some time”, before he asked her to come to his car to get her things because he was going to leave early.

The prosecutor added that as they arrived at the car, he shouted “I f***** hate you” before pulling her to the ground by her hair, limiting her ability to move and defend herself.

"Then he started attacking her head, side, neck, and stomach with a screwdriver.”

The victim told how her vision went blurry, and she remembers scrabbling on the floor and then getting up.

He continued: "She was dizzy and out of breath, but managed to get back to the reception area of the distribution centre."

Fryers will be sentenced on February 22.

Senior investigating officer detective inspector Ross Gurden said: “Fryers completely lost control and launched a vicious attack on a young woman who was alone with him in a car park.

“He is a dangerous man and I’m pleased the jury found him guilty and that he has been held accountable for his actions. He now faces a lengthy sentence behind bars.”

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