Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on the 2nd of May 2021, I have remembered 104 women, the last being Maria Byrne.
Today we remember Lisa Reynolds, aged 30, a mother of two children, who was found with stab wounds in her home at Stoke-on-Trent in February 2015.
Lisa’s partner was Barry Knapper, who had paranoid schizophrenia. After an argument, he slept in his car outside their home before forcing his way into the family home the next day. He then attacked Lisa stabbing her 17 times, including to her forehead, eyelid, arms, chest and back. During the attack, witnessed by her two boys, she cried out, “Stop it Baz”
But he didn’t – he ran off – Lisa died.
He was however quickly arrested and charged.
Knapper was sentenced to life imprisonment at Stafford Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Sentencing him, Judge Michael Chambers QC said: “You subjected your long-term partner to a brutal and sustained attack. The prosecution accepts that at the time you were suffering from mental illness – paranoid schizophrenia. This was a brutal attack in which you intended to kill. Indeed, there had been a prior attempt to attack her.
Knapper’s paranoid schizophrenia was triggered by stress, the judge said. He had also stopped taking his medication. Judge Chambers added: “This was a truly horrific, sustained, brutal attack. “You are a dangerous offender.”
Lisa’s devastated family released a statement after the sentencing.
“Lisa’s death has devastated the whole family. You cannot imagine how painful the last six months have been since Lisa was so cruelly taken from us. Lisa was a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, an aunt and a friend to many. But above all, she was a mum to two beautiful boys.
The statement continued.
“Not a day goes by without us missing Lisa and thinking of the life she should still have here with us, and especially her boys. Lisa’s death leaves a hole that cannot be filled. She was so vibrant and we, as a family, will do anything in our power to support and love her boys as she would have wanted. We will keep Lisa’s memory alive for them. She will always have a special place in our hearts.
We would also like to clarify that Barry Knapper should have been convicted of murder and not manslaughter.
What he did to Lisa in front of her two young children while her mother was also listening on the phone was, we feel, premeditated and in no way due to mental illness. No sentence will ever compensate for all the trauma the family, especially Lisa’s two children, have gone through and will continue to go through for years to come.”
Authored by Steph