‘I’m glad it’s over – Michelle is at rest’

Gavin Sartain, 31, who murdered Rastrick girl Michelle Suttle, 23.
Gavin Sartain, 31, who murdered Rastrick girl Michelle Suttle, 23.

A grieving father has spoken of his relief after the man who brutally murdered his daughter was sentenced.

Gavin Sartain, 31, was told by a crown court judge he would serve a minimum of 12 years in prison for murdering Rastrick girl Michelle Suttle last June.

Raymond Suttle, Michelle’s father, said: “I’m relieved now it’s over. I’m just glad it’s the end of it and there are no more inquests or court dates.”

Michelle, 23, was stabbed 39 times in the face, neck and chest by Sartain, her long-term boyfriend, after an alcohol-fuelled row at their home in Baker Street, Huddersfield.

He then went outside and phoned the police, telling them, “I’ve killed her. She’s dead.”

Mr Suttle said: “The main thing is that she is at rest now.

“You read about these things and your heart goes out to the families involved. Having gone through it, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

“I think they should bring back the death penalty and the victims’ families should be the ones who decide what happens.”

Mr Suttle paid tribute to his daughter, who he said was a “wonderful person” and thanked Michelle’s friends and the police for their support.

“They have made it much easier for us and I would like to thank them all,” he said.

During sentencing, Judge Peter Benson told Sartain he accepted he had genuine remorse for his actions.

“I accept your deep regret for the pain you have caused the family for the loss of a much-loved and admired young woman and the sympathy of the court goes out to the family at this difficult time.

“This wholly pointless waste of a promising young life must bare very deeply upon the family.

“No sentence I could pass will be adequate to reflect their loss.”

Detective Superintendent Sukhbir Singh of West Yorkshire Police homicide and major enquires team said: “On the 9th of June Gavin Sartain murdered Michelle Suttle in a violent attack, stabbing her repeatedly.

“He did at least do the right thing by pleading guilty to Michelle’s murder, therefore sparing the Suttle family the distress and anxiety of a full trial.

“He will now have ample time to reflect on what he has done.”

Sartain was given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison before he will be considered for release by a parole board.