Killer of West Lothian hairdresser Katrina O’Hara jailed for 26 years

Katrina O'Hara. Picture; BBC South

Katrina O'Hara. Picture; BBC South

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A married father-of-four who stabbed his former lover to death as she left work has been jailed for 26 years.

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Stuart Thomas murdered hairdresser Katrina O’Hara, originally from Bangour in West Lothian, just days after he was arrested for harassment. He was banned from contacting her.

The 49-year-old, described in court as “obsessed, controlling and self pitying,” killed Miss O’Hara in a “vicious and sustained” attack at the salon where she worked.

Armed with an orange kitchen knife he had brought from the home he shared with his wife and children, he waited outside Jocks Barbers where Miss O’Hara, a mother-of-three, worked.

Thomas followed her into the barbers after a confrontation and stabbed her twice in the chest. He fled and was found by police a short while later with a self-inflicted injury to his wrist.

Miss O’Hara, 44, was found at the back of the barber shop, in the quiet village of Blandford, Dorset, in a pool of blood on January 7 this year. She had ended their relationship shortly before her death.

Thomas was convicted of murder by a 10-1 majority. He had denied the offence at Winchester Crown Court.