Aldi 'public execution': Ex-company director admits murdering former partner's daughter in revenge attack

Martin Evans
Neville Hord pleaded guilty to murdering  supermarket worker Jodie Willsher - Facebook/Ben Lack

A former company director has been jailed for life after admitting murdering his ex-partner's daughter in an Aldi supermarket in a "cold-blooded public execution perpetrated for the purpose of revenge".

Neville Hord pleaded guilty to murdering supermarket worker Jodie Willsher in front of horrified shoppers at a store in Skipton, North Yorkshire, just before Christmas last year. 

Bradford Crown Court heard that that Hord, a 44-year-old father of two, was the ex-partner of 30-year-old Ms Willsher's mother, Nicola Dinsdale, and had been on bail for allegedly attacking, her at the time of the murder.

Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC told the court how Hord stabbed mother-of-one Mrs Willsher several times in the store before he was stopped and restrained by members of the public.

He said it was a "cold-blooded public execution perpetrated for the purpose of revenge". Hord was jailed for life with a minimum of 30-years.

Police custody image of Neville Hord  Credit: North Yorkshire Police 

His 15 month relationship with Ms Dinsdale had ended in November and after the murder, Hord told the police: "It's all her fault, she is to blame, her daughter." 

The prosecutor said the attack was witnessed by many people, including a child as well as caught on CCTV.

He said the attack was pre-planned and the defendant also took an axe with him to the supermarket.

After the attack, shoppers and staff came to the young mother's aid and restrained Hord. Mrs Willsher was rushed to hospital but was declared dead a short time later. 

Prior to her murder Mrs Willsher, who was married with a five-year-old daughter, had taken her daughter to visit Father Christmas and was wearing a festive jumper for work that day.

A forensic officer talks to colleagues at the scene of the fatal stabbing in Aldi, Skipton Credit: Ben Lack

In a statement read to the court, Ms Willsher's husband Malcolm, said his life and that of his daughter Megan had been ripped apart.

He said Jodie and her daughter had an "unbreakable bond".

Mr Willsher said his daughter has told him: "I hate you daddy for not bringing mummy back."

He described how his daughter had been looking forward to opening her Christmas presents with her mother and the family had a trip to Disneyland planned on Boxing Day.

Mr Willsher said: "I'm so scared he'll get out and do something to Megan."

Jodie Willsher with husband Malcolm Credit: Ben Lack Photography

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told Hord he was "truly and horribly rotten to the core".

He said: "You sentenced her, in your mind, to death."

The judge said: "You chose a time and a place to, in effect, execute; to kill; to murder."

He said the killing was calculated to cause the "maximum pain, horror, shock and trauma".

North Yorkshire Police said Mrs Willsher suffered multiple serious injuries and died at the store on Keighley Road at about 3.30pm.

Hord, who previously ran a heating and plumbing and heating business in the area, was the former partner of Mrs Willsher's mother who friends say has been "utterly destroyed" by the tragedy.

The town council's mayor Andy Rankine said those who live in Skipton were "in shock and grieving" over the loss of Mrs Willsher.

A police officer takes potential evidence away from the discount store Credit: Ben Lack 

Speaking at the time, Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland, said: "Everyone at Aldi is heartbroken by this devastating news. Our deepest sympathy goes to Jodie's family, friends and colleagues.

"We are doing everything we can to support our people and all those affected during this difficult time."