When the decade-long marriage turned ugly and challenging, Stephen Barnsdale-Quean resorted to extreme measures. The episode titled ‘Stephen Barnsdale-Quean’ of ‘Deadliest Lovers’ gives us a detailed account of how the sweet marriage between Stephen and Chantelle gradually turned sour to an extreme degree, following which the former embarked upon a wretched path. With a massive debt looming over the couple, the financial problems became the primary reason for their marriage to deteriorate, resulting in the tragic death of Chantelle. Apart from documenting these events, the episode also features interviews with the victim’s loved ones and law enforcement officials involved in the case, who throw further light on the matter.
Who is Stephen Barnsdale-Quean?
Stephen Barnsdale-Quean was in his early 30s when he married Chantelle, in the early 2000s. In the early stages of their marriage, the couple seemingly showed love and care toward one another. Both of them worked at the Department of Work and Pensions, but over the years, they faced some financial difficulties. The debt had become so enormous that their previous house was repossessed. Stephen was the type of husband to always keep tabs on Chantelle’s social media accounts, checking who messages his wife. Furthermore, he also preferred to keep her debit card in his own wallet.
Between them, they reportedly gave birth to two children within the ten years they were married. After a decade, when the financial issues became too much for Stephen to handle, he resorted to something gruesome and horrific. It was just another day at the Barnsdale-Quean household in Darfield, Barnsley, on March 4, 2013, until the husband reportedly strangled his wife with a metal chain he had bought a couple of weeks ago from B&Q and kept it tightened around Chantelle’s neck until she laid lifeless on their bed.
Stephen then stabbed himself in the face, neck, and abdomen, with a paring knife, just so he could claim that she was the one who attacked him and not the other way around. When the paramedics arrived, they found Chantelle dead in the bedroom while Stephen lay unconscious in the hallway, with stab wounds. During the ride to the hospital, Stephen was arrested in the ambulance under the suspicion of being responsible, directly or indirectly, for the slaying of Chantelle. After allowing the injured Stephen to recover in the hospital, the investigators held an interview with him, where he claimed she attacked him with a knife for no particular reason.
Stephen even suggested that it might be a case of suicide. As for Chantelle’s mother, she was of the opinion that her daughter is no more in the world due to money problems. Despite all the theatrics and self-stabbing of Stephen, none of the investigators bought the act, which was later regarded as self-inflicted as there were no other signs of disturbance. On March 5, 2013, the suspect was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Chantelle at their house on Upperwood Road in Darfield, South Yorkshire.
Where is Stephen Barnsdale-Quean Now?
Around August 2013, the 43-year-old Stephen Barnsdale-Quean stood trial for the slaying of his own wife, Chantelle. After a couple of weeks of trial at Sheffield Crown Court, he was found guilty and convicted for the same. In September 2013, Stephen received a sentence of imprisonment, with a minimum time of 18 years behind bars. After the sentencing, one of the leading detectives passed a statement regarding the case, saying, “This was an unprovoked and senseless killing which has left two young girls without a mother.”
The detective further elaborated, “Stephen Barnsdale-Quean not only murdered his wife but in a cowardly attempt to cover his tracks, instead claimed that he was attacked by Chantelle and stabbed himself in a bid to prove his story.” On the other hand, Chantelle’s mother, Susan Benson, had quite a few things she wanted to get off her chest. She stated, “The whole family feels a terrible void without Chantelle in their lives. We are satisfied with the sentence but unfortunately, it will not bring Chantelle back. We have had to listen in court to a suggestion that Chantelle committed suicide when we know as a family she had everything to live for.” As of writing, Stephen Barnsdale-Quean, who must be over 53 years of age, is likely serving his sentence in a correctional facility in England.
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