William Berry

William Berry
Crime: Attempted Murder

I am usually very sympathetic to disabled people. My own mother had Multiple Sclerosis for half her life, and still managed to live to the ripe age of 80. I was her sole caregiver for over 2 decades, and I know intimately the trials and tribulations that physically disabled people face. So while my experience makes me sympathize in general with people with disabilities, it does not make me sympathize with murderous assholes with disabilities.

William Berry of Bolton, Greater Manchester, UK, is one such murderous, physically disabled asshole. He has Multiple Sclerosis, and as a result he uses a wheelchair or a scooter to get around.

William Berry married his wife, Debra, in 1999 — the year before he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. His condition soon deteriorated enough that he had to retire early from his job. Debra Berry became his full-time caregiver. That’s extremely tough on a marriage.

Caregiving is not for everyone. It’s physically, emotionally and financially draining. Believe me, I know. It’s difficult enough for somebody who voluntarily fills the role, but if somebody does it because it’s expected of them, or it’s foisted upon them, it can become unbearable servitude.

Obviously Debra Berry didn’t expect to become her husband’s caregiver so early in their marriage. She had signed up to be a wife and to enjoy years of love and romance. Caregiving is a powerful killer of romance.

Debra Berry carried on with the marriage until July 2013. She told William Berry, then 61, that she was leaving him and their marriage was over. William Berry did not take the news well. Assholes never do.

William Berry plagued his estranged wife with phone calls to her and their mutual friends. He even lay in waiting outside the secondary school where she worked as a kitchen assistant. Sounds a lot like stalking to me.

Not surprisingly, the asshole’s pestering and persistence did not convince Debra Berry to patch things up with him. She decided to begin divorce proceedings instead.

Things came to a head on October 15, 2013. Debra Berry, in preparation for the divorce, decided to get their financial affairs in order. The solicitor sent William Berry a letter advising him of that fact, but the asshole completely misread it. He mistakenly concluded that Debra Berry was going to force him to sell their home on Masefield Road and then take half of the proceeds.

Now I do know that Multiple Sclerosis can sometimes fuddle a person’s thinking, so I can understand why William Berry couldn’t make proper sense of the solicitor’s letter. MS can also make a person depressed. It does not make a person a murderous asshole.

On October 15, 2013, William Berry set out to take action. He was not going to let his wife get away with selling the house and taking half of the money. Never mind that she took care of him for 13 years and deserved recompense for that!

William Berry wrote a note to his family, armed himself with 2 knives, and then motored almost 3 miles on his mobility scooter to the school where Debra worked. He was planning to ambush her.

When Debra Berry, 52, finished her shift, she found William Berry waiting for her. I’m sure she was less than thrilled he was there. I’m sure she could see he was absolutely fuming, but she wasn’t to know how dangerous he was at that time.

The enraged asshole followed Debra Berry a few yards to a nearby bus stop, yapping at her about the solicitor’s letter he’d received. His hands were on his lap, which Debra Berry took to mean he had to go to the bathroom. She had no way of knowing he was concealing weapons with his hands. Had she known, she certainly wouldn’t have turned her back to him. That’s when William Berry attacked.

Debra Berry felt a “thump” to the middle of her back, and fell to the ground. She got up on all fours and looked back at William Berry on his scooter. She could see he was holding a knife in his hand. She could see he was gritting his teeth. And then he struck again.

Scene of Berry stabbingThe second blow was to Debra Berry’s shoulder. Then there was another and another and another and another. The terrified, wounded woman got to her feet and, screaming and crying, she made her way to a friend’s house across the street.

William Berry then stabbed himself twice in the belly. He took refuge in a nearby garden while shocked witnesses called police.

Debra Berry was airlifted to hospital while the police were dealing with her asshole husband. He was telling the officers that he wanted to kill himself. It took the threat of being tasered to make him drop his weapon.

Fortunately for Debra Berry, her husband had been unable to mortally wound her, maybe because he was sitting on his scooter or he was just too physically weak. She was released from hospital the next day, but continues to suffer from nerve damage and post-traumatic stress disorder.

William Berry had managed to damage himself much more than he’d hurt Debra Berry. He couldn’t even be interviewed by police for almost 2 months as he lay recovering in hospital.

When he did speak to the police, William Berry’s story was that he didn’t intend to harm his wife at all. His intention had been solely to kill himself in front of her.

This is what I cannot wrap my brain around — if he intended to kill himself in front of his wife, how did Debra Berry wind up stabbed 6 times in the back? It was no accident. IMO, if William Berry intended to kill himself, he wasn’t intending to die alone. We’re looking at a murder or a murder-suicide plot here. There was no reason for William Berry stabbing his estranged wife other than he wanted her dead.

Strangely, the note he wrote to his family has never surfaced. It might have laid out his true intentions.

William Berry was charged with attempted murder, but was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of wounding with intent.

At Bolton Crown Court, William Berry’s defense lawyer, Tim Hopley, argued that his client had a “mist or a lack of full comprehension over what he was doing.” Really? A mist? The guy grabbed 2 knives (surely only 1 is necessary for suicide), and trundled 3 miles at top speed 5 mph on his scooter (minimum travel time 36 minutes), in a mist? He parked himself to wait for his victim to emerge from the school, and hid his weapons from view, in a mist?

Tim Hopley continued, “The defendant was capable of significantly more serious injuries than what was caused.” Oh, really? Debra Berry certainly didn’t think her ex was holding back when he gritted his teeth and stabbed her 6 times.

Tim Hopley trotted out his client’s MS and the breakdown of his marriage as excuses for William Berry’s actions. He mentioned depression as a side effect of MS but stopped short of saying his client had depression.

Tim Hopley then, disgustingly, alluded to debts his client was supposedly unaware of and a possible other man in Debra Berry’s life. Riiiight. Blame the victim! Accuse her of being a secret spendthrift and a cheating spouse — without proof!

“There may have been another party involved,” Tim Hopley had slyly suggested, and why? To prove that Debra Berry had it coming? That she somehow deserved to be stabbed?

And then Tim Hopley went for the court’s sympathy vote. “[William Berry] has little life left in terms of activity. His activities amount to watching TV and socialising with other residents in the [nursing home]. He wishes to express his genuine and sincere remorse and regret for what he did.”

Judge Timothy Clayson stood up for the victim and said, “She is still suffering significant ongoing problems. She has psychological damage which manifests itself in a fear of seeing you or members of your family and she can’t face using knives.”

The judge was right about psychological damage. In Debra Berry’s victim impact statement she wrote, “I still get upset and start crying and think what have I done to deserve this. I don’t see my son and daughter as much now as I’m always scared I will see him. I’m scared to be on my own and when I go to bed at night I’m like a cocoon.”

Obviously what happened to Debra Berry was far more than physical damage.

On October 22, 2014 William the murderous asshole Berry was sentenced to 2 years 8 months in prison. He’ll serve half of his sentence on parole (licence). He was also handed a restraining order banning him from contacting Debra Berry for 3 years. On top of that he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.

I am pleased that the judge did not choose to suspend the sentence because of William Berry’s health problems. With MS he could decline quickly or continue on for years — there’s no predicting it except to say he won’t be getting better.

I hope Debra Berry can carry on with her life without fear. I hope that she is forever left alone by her ex-husband. I think everyone should be thankful that nobody died because of William Berry’s monstrous assholery. As Judge Clayson said, “It could easily have been so much worse.”

Daily Mail article
Manchester Evening News article
The Bolton News article

7 Responses to William Berry

  1. moodymagic says:

    Poor poor Debra I wish her all the best with the rest of her life. As for William you are where you deserve to be.

  2. Sybrash says:

    I think anyone reading this can come to their own conclusion about this guy. I really don’t think it’s necessary to always label the perp as “asshole” or whatever. It only serves to diminish your credibility.

    • 2cute says:

      Cleo could have called him worse. The douchebag bastard would rather see his wife dead than let her get her share after a divorce. That makes him an asshole.

    • Bengalpuss. says:

      Would evil “mother fucker” or “spiteful vindictive cunt” not apply to this arsehole? I don’t think cleos credibility is at stake seen as she hasn’t tried to kill somebody, not like this Fucking “arsehole” who did.

  3. pj says:

    I bet he made her life hell while she took care of him. Seems like he’s the selfish sort, and probably never thanked her or thought of her needs all those years. Hope she’s living a happy life now.

  4. awesomeblossom says:

    Stabbing his wife in the back that many times means, to me, that he meant her to die. He should thank the stars above that she survived. I hope he spends the rest of his life someplace where he can’t hurt anyone again.

  5. DecentPeopleOnly says:

    Appalling

    Attempted Murder of a Decent Person Need’s to Warrant a Life Sentence

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