Main admits attempting to murder King’s Lynn taxi firm owner
PUBLISHED: 15:16 16 July 2010
A MAN who tried to kill a King’s Lynn taxi firm owner by setting light to his home and running him over has been pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
Robert Whitby, 55, called his former boss and wife at home making threats to kill them before smashing his way into their Middleton home, attacking the couple and setting the house alight.
As victim Michael Jackson, Whitby’s brother-in-law, ran from the house onto the A47 to summon help, he was pursued by Whitby in a car and run over twice, once in front of police officers who had arrived at the scene.
Whitby, of Hillen Road, King’s Lynn, was due to stand trial in September after being charged with threats to kill, arson with intent to endanger life and other offences.
He changed his plea to guilty for attempted murder during a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday. All other offences were ordered to remain on file.
Investigating officer Det Con Darren Nurse of King’s Lynn CID said: “This was an absolutely terrifying ordeal for Whitby’s sister and brother-in-law, who were attacked and their home and possessions destroyed.
“Officers had to smash their way in to Whitby’s car to stop and arrest him and he showed no signs of remorse when they did. The change of please at least spares his victims from having to relive those moments again in court.”
The incident occurred on the night of March 31, the culmination of a dispute between Whitby and his sister, Jane, and brother-in-law, who co-own Klas Cars and employed Whitby as a driver.
After ramming his vehicle into theirs and smashing the front door to their home to gain entry, he let off two marine flares which set the home alight, before pursuing Mr Jackson in his vehicle. The family dog escaped the fire and was found wandering along the A47 two days later.
Police and firefighters were called to the scene and Whitby was arrested in his vehicle on the A47 at 12.20am.
Whitby has been remanded in custody to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Tuesday August 3.
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