‘If I can’t have her, no one will’: Killer’s jealous rage
The convicted criminal who stabbed to death his girlfriend in a jealous rage while on bail told friends days before killing her: "If I can't have her, no one will."
Tafari Walton, 21, who was six years younger than Gabriella Thompson, adored the pretty florist with whom he shared a daughter, three, but was convinced she was preparing to leave him for a new man while he was serving time in prison.
"He was obsessed with Gabriella and loved her desperately, she was older than him, and he always believed she could do better and at times he was violent, we lost her to domestic violence," her best friend Claudine Melinda told The Daily Telegraph.
"His attitude was always 'if I can't have her no one will', he said that days ago.
"The age gap meant he always worried she would find someone else but Gabriella loved him, she kept forgiving him hoping he would change and their relationship would get better."
Walton battled mental illness which was exacerbated during his time incarcerated at Silverwater jail.
"Prison made him worse, it made him mentally ill, each time he came out he was more violent," said another friend who asked not to be named.
"Gabby was worried about him coming out of jail six weeks ago and how he would be this time round. He seemed worse after every time he went in.
"It's a tragedy for both families."
Walton stabbed Ms Thomson, 27, several times in the head, under each armpit and left cuts on her neck, inside her Glendale home, near Newcastle on Wednesday night.
His own mother and stepfather arrived to find Ms Thompson bleeding to death, while he fled in her car.
For 22 hours he drove frenetically through Greater Newcastle, at one stage breaking into a home in nearby Cardiff and leaving empty handed.
At around 2am Thursday he arrived at a home in Dudley - 15km from the murder scene - where he threatened people he knew with a knife and carjacked a vehicle.
He then stole another car from a woman in Wallsend at 5am, with police on his tail.
At 8.30am Walton confronted an elderly woman as she drove into her garage in Bell St, Glendale, demanded the car keys and said he needed to see his mother.
Walton then drove to his mother's home and police arrived soon after.
Officers approached Walton in the back yard and tried to subdue him with capsicum spray as he lunged at them with a hunting knife.
Assistant commissioner Max Mitchell said officers had no option but to kill him.
Walton grew up in Glendale, attending Glendale East Public school, before he downward spiralled into a life of drugs and crime.
In 2015 he was involved in an attempted armed robbery at The Iron Horse Inn at Cardiff and the following year he staged a siege at his mother's home, the same address where he died on Thursday.
Walton put a gun in his mouth as police surrounded the property for several hours and he eventually gave up.
He was sentenced to two years and six months jail for a string of charges in the Newcastle District Court in October 2017.
While in jail he was also charged with affray and wound with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was was denied release in December, at the end of his non-parole period.
On January 23, a magistrate did grant Walton bail in Kempsey Local Court on the condition he "be of good behaviour" and report to police in Newcastle every day.
He also had to report to Community Corrections because he remained on parole for his original jail sentence.
A gofundme page was today set up in memory of Ms Thompson which read: "On Wednesday the 13th March we lost our beautiful Gabby to DV who has left behind a beautiful daughter who also lost her father in this tragic incident.