24 Hours in Police Custody: How long was Rob Parkins jailed for the murder of Alex Fitzpatrick?
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24 Hours in Police Custody: How long was Rob Parkins jailed for the murder of Alex Fitzpatrick?

Cambridgeshire father stabbed in "brutal, frenzied and sustained attack"

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24 Hours will broadcast horrifying details of the manhunt sparked by Rob Parkins stabbing Alex Fitzpatrick to death.

The Channel 4 documentary recounts how Alex, 30, was knifed 17 times in the neck and chest in 2019.

The “brutal” attack came just moments after he had dropped his son back home in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.

Alex Fitzpatrick was knifed to death
Alex Fitzpatrick died in October 2019 (Credit: Channel 4)

24 Hours: What happened between Rob Parkins and Alex Fitzpatrick?

Parkins, 33, was dating Alex’s former partner Kelly Anderson, the mother of their nine-year-old boy.

In the documentary, Alex’s mother Mary claims her son felt Parkins was unstable.

“[He] didn’t want him around his son,” she says in the programme.

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Alex returned to the house after realising the child had forgotten his glasses.

However, a row erupted – and Alex died at the scene.

Rob Parkins' mother speaks to the police
Rob Parkins’ mother speaks to the police (Credit: Channel 4)

Why did police interview Rob Parkins’ mother?

Parkins fled St Neots to hide at his aunt’s house in north London, leading to a police manhunt.

Parkins’ mother Janet and father were both arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender but later released without charge.

The episode also includes her interview with police.

She says at one point: “I would feel that any loving mother would protect her children and try to help her children.”

What was Rob Parkins’ sentence?

Parkins claimed during his trial he was “not aware” he was holding a knife during the row.

Nonetheless, he was found guilty of murder. Jurors took only two and a half hours to consider their verdict.

He received a sentence of life with a minimum of 19 years in August 2020 for causing “horrendous and unsurvivable injuries” to Alex.

Rob Parkins was jailed for life
Rob Parkins will serve a minimum of 19 years (Credit: Channel 4)

How did police react to the sentencing?

Detective Superintendent Michael Branston led the investigation.

He said: “This was a brutal, frenzied and sustained attack resulting in the death of a man whose son will now grow up without his father in his life.

“What started out as a dispute escalated to such a degree that Alex lost his life from misuse of a knife.”

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Reflecting on knife crime, the officer continued: “This show highlights the devastating impact of incidents involving knives which will stay with those around them for the rest of their lives.”

24 Hours in Police Custody airs on Monday October 25, 2021 at 9pm on Channel 4.

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