Former boss of Dreamboys stripper group jailed for trying to murder wife with axe

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A former boss of the Dreamboys stripper group has been jailed for the attempted murder of his wife, attacking her with an axe after their relationship broke down.

David Richards, 42, lay in wait for hours to ambush 32-year-old Alex Alam when she stepped outside her home in Stock, Essex, with her dogs in darkness, while children were inside the property.

She suffered a fractured skull and cuts to her face and scalp in the “bloodbath” that ensued, Judge David Turner KC told Chelmsford Crown Court.

Ms Alam said: “I’ve been utterly betrayed beyond belief by the person I chose to have children with, turning my life upside down.”

In her victim impact statement, read in court by prosecutor William Carter, she added: “The scars are a constant reminder of what he did to me.”

The judge praised Ms Alam for “courageously” attending Thursday’s sentencing hearing, and she wept and was consoled by those who sat beside her in court as details were read out.

Richards, of no fixed address, appeared by video-link from Chelmsford Prison and sobbed through parts of the hearing on Thursday.

Judge Turner sentenced Richards to 27 years in prison and made a restraining order.

Mr Carter, prosecuting, said Richards took an axe, dry suit and cable ties to the address on 3 April last year.

“The weapon was taken to the scene and used,” he said. “Plainly there was planning, the buying of the axe, the dry suit, the cable ties. Clearly pre-meditation prior to the night and on the night.

“You will remember he waited a number of hours dressed as he was, with the weapon, waiting for (Ms Alam’s friend) Mr Norcross to depart.”

Dreamboys are an all-male stripper group

He noted Ms Alam, who previously ran a beauty salon in Surrey, had said it “really was only the fact she kept on thinking that saved her life”.

Richards was found guilty following an earlier trial of attempted murder. He was also convicted of breaching a non-molestation order.

The judge told Richards that the events of 3 April were a “hideous culmination of the breakdown some 18 months earlier of your family relationships”.

He said that from the autumn of 2019 there had been reports to police alleging domestic assaults, harassment and stalking among other matters.

He described Richards as being “obsessive” and having a “jealous mindset”.

David Richards was sentenced via videolink at Chelmsford Crown Court

The judge added: “Your dream home, family and lifestyle to which you had aspired had very sadly unravelled and left you depressed, isolated and angry.

“This crime was planned and prepared for. A hatchet or hatchets were bought, as were a dry suit, boots, gloves and cable ties.”

The judge said Richards had “stalked and monitored the home and Ms Alam before that night”.

He added: “You waited for hours on the night itself until she was alone and her friend had left. You knew perfectly well she would come to the yard in darkness to house the dogs. You waited in the shadows, then confronted her.”

He said Richards had “tied her up briefly” during the incident but this was “ineffectual”, and that Richards “dragged her by the hair”.

Essex Police said that when Richards stepped out to try and find Ms Alam’s phone, she was able to free herself, lock her doors and call for help.

The judge told Richards: “You tried to break into the house, axe in hand, and were only thwarted when the front door held.

“You then made off, you sought no medical help or assistance. You left her bleeding and gravely wounded. A police chase then followed as you attempted to evade arrest.”

Richards told police he had done “the most stupid thing I had done in my life”, the judge said.

Allan Goh, mitigating, asked the judge to consider the “highly emotional and stressful circumstances (Richards) found himself in at the relevant period”.

He said Richards had a “successful” business and had provided a “not insignificant family home and a not insignificant lifestyle”.

The court heard he was of previous good character.