A failed medical student who pretended he was a doctor for seven years tried to murder his mother-in-law, wife and two other relatives in a stabbing rampage after he feared his secret was about to be exposed.

Satya Thakor, from Slough, was jailed for 28 years on Monday.

A judge warned he was considering sending him to jail for more than 30 years for three attempted murder and one count of causing grievous bodily harm.

The 35-year-old kept up the doctor pretence for 10 years, visiting the library every day to read medical books so that he sounded professional to his family.

Slamming the defendant for his deception, a judge said: "Those were disgraceful things to say to your wife and the mother of your child.

"What you did to her over the proceeding few years is one of the saddest things that one can hear in this court."

When Thakor realised he was about to be rumbled when his wife suggested a dream holiday to Los Angeles and, because he had not been earning money, he could not provide the necessary funds. He decided instead to buy some time by killing his mother-in-law at her Wraysbury home, a packed courtroom heard.

Judge Paul Dugdale, sentencing, said: “He was buying some time. He was not intending to kill anyone else when he set out that evening except his mother-in-law.

“I think it probably was a wholly illogical thought process but to him it seemed entirely reasonable.”

The court heard how the build-up to the stabbing rampage had taken a number of years as the pressure of keeping up his lies mounted on Thakor.

Prosecuting, Michael Roques said: “He was studying to become a doctor at the time he met his future wife who was studying to become a solicitor and the two of them started a relationship.

“He told his family he had achieved the grades required to become a fully qualified doctor. What became apparent eventually was he did not complete that course and did not obtain the qualification he needed."

Thakor told his family he had found work as a doctor but was nearly caught out when he agreed to fund he and his wife’s honeymoon after they got married.

On the morning of his wedding, he orchestrated a car crash to get the honeymoon called off, the prosecution said.

Mr Roques said: “The defendant drove his car into the central reservation on the M4 motorway. As a result of that the wedding had to be delayed but still took place later that day. The honeymoon was cancelled. It is the prosecution’s case that there never was a honeymoon because he did not have the money.”

After getting married, the court heard Thakor had carried on the doctor deception for seven years, leaving home each morning and arriving home at night, pretending he was going to work but actually going to the local library and reading medical textbooks.

To maintain his lie, the prosecutor said, Thakor had pretended he had to work night shifts and left the house overnight.

Mr Roques said: “One Christmas, he said that he had to go to work and came back later and, when asked about why he seemed upset, he said that they had lost a patient that day.”

Even after the birth of their daughter, Thakor had survived purely on his wife’s income throughout their marriage, a judge was told, telling her he was banking his earnings as a doctor to save towards their house.

Thakor had decided the couple would move up from their home in Slough to where his mother lived in Nortmanton Road, Leicester, so he could avoid paying rent, the court heard, forcing his wife to leave behind her father who had just been diagnosed with cancer and who died at the age of 60.

However, when the family planned to take their young daughter on a dream holiday to Los Angeles in America, Thakor decided he needed to buy more time, the court heard.

Mr Roques went on: “He was supposed to have booked not only the flights to go to the States, but also the tickets for the various shows.

“No such flights or tickets had been booked. He was shortly going to be found out or at least there had to be a reason not to get on to the flights.”

Thakor told his wife that he needed to attend a plastic surgery workshop in Reading, so the couple would need to stay with Nisha’s mother, Gita Laxman (corr), at her home in Wraysbury.

On the morning of May 14 last year, Thakor had walked into Ms Laxman’s bedroom and asked if he could use the en-suite toilet.

Mr Roques said: “She then saw the defendant sitting astride her whilst she was in bed, trying to force tissue into her mouth and covering her head with a pillow.

“She struggled and screamed and he then began to stab her repeatedly. Her screams alerted Nisha, who thought her mother was having a nightmare.

“Nisha saw the defendant. He immediately ran past her and her instinctive reaction was that he was perhaps fighting a burglar or something of the sort. Nisha realised her mother was underneath a duvet on the bedroom floor.”

The court heard that Thakor then lunged at his wife and tried to stab her in the neck, successfully knifing her at least once and then again in the leg as she fell to the floor trying to kick him away.

He went on to stab his brother-in-law Primal Laxman, who tried to intervene, before going into a room where Rishika Laxman, his sister-in-law, was sleeping. He stabbed her too, Judge Dugdale was told.

Mr Roques went on: “Police were called and attended. It became apparent the defendant had closed himself into Gita’s en-suite bathroom and when police officers entered wearing body worn cameras, those cameras recorded the defendant in the bath.

“Police officers quickly became aware he had stabbed himself a number of times. He was shouting about demons. It is right to say nobody had heard him shouting about demons until the police officers were present.”

Thakor had been Sectioned under the Mental Health Act and told medics he had been told to carry out the attacks by demons and that he saw demons crawling on himself and others, so he felt he needed to stab them to get rid of the demons.

Mr Roques added: "He was asked by his psychiatrist to give some background. He maintained at that stage he was a practicing doctor. It was only when he was asked where his team could be contacted to let them know where he was, that he admitted he was lying."

He was deemed well enough to be discharged and following a 10-day trial at Reading Crown Court, Thakor was convicted of three counts of attempted murder in relation to his wife, his mother-in-law and his brother-in-law. He was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to Rishika Laxman.

Taking to the witness box, Nisha Thakor, who had initiated divorce proceedings, spoke tearfully about the impact her husband’s crime had had on her family.

She said: “Like a thief in the night, he stole the best years of my life.

"I trusted him wholly. He knew this and he took advantage. He stood by as I paid our rent, food and bills. I paid for what we needed to raise our daughter.

“I paid for my own engagement ring because at the time I thought he had high tuition fees for his degree. He never paid me back.

“I did all this because I loved him and believed in him. I thought we were in it together. I paid for the belief that I was supporting his dream of becoming a doctor.

“The reality that he did no work at all makes me feel completely financially abused. He once told me the only thing I was good for was making money.”

Curly-haired Thakor took his glasses off to massage his temples while listening to his wife’s speech.

Addressing her husband directly, Nisha added: “You forced me to leave my home and my dying father when I was six months pregnant. I told you how I felt about that but you did not care. It is the biggest regret of my life. You made a dying man cry.

“Your very name, Satya, means ‘truth’ in sanskrit. It is time to live up to it. Stop lying to your family and stop lying to yourself. Only then can you begin to earn redemption.”

Defending, Bernard Tetlow QC, who called the facts of the case “unprecedented”, told the court Thakor would never again be in the unique set of circumstances which created the build-up of stress that led him to offend.

Mr Tetlow said: “He just could not bring himself to accept what he considered to be his own failure and having embarked upon it just carried on for a very long time indeed.

“It is still a mystery in many ways as to why he chose to do that other than his own sense of failure and his own sense that he was letting everybody down.”

In a letter to the judge, Thakor had written: “The shame of not being able to graduate as a doctor and the fear of admitting this would cause my family and friends to abandon me and my upcoming wedding to be called off, led me to lie and say that I had graduated and become a doctor.”

In blistering sentencing remarks, in which Thakor was left squirming under the reproachful eye of the judge during long pauses, Judge Dugdale told him that his plan to kill his mother-in-law was "wholly illogical and wholly ridiculous".

The judge said: "You were at university in London when you met Nisha. She felt that you were somebody special. She felt over the months that followed that you were someone she loved and she trusted.

"There is no doubt that at that stage and until she walked into her mother's bedroom to see what you were doing, she loved you absolutely.

"You decided that you simply could not face the truth that you were not going to become a doctor and you decided that the way you were going to get out of that was to tell everyone you were a qualified doctor who had started practice.

"You were prepared to go to what many people would think were quite extraordinary lengths to continue your deception."

Judge Dugdale said it was relevant that Thakor had carried out his attack on the Tuesday before the Friday he was due to fly on the non-existent holiday to Los Angeles.

The judge said: "You had reached the very last weekend before your deceptions would come crashing down around you and you had reached a crucial moment. What were you going to do?

"You chose an extreme act of violence to get out of the difficulty that you were in. You could have stopped it as the madness that it was and as the idiotic decision that it was, but you chose not to."

Thakor was sentenced to 28 years in jail and made subject to a restraining order against his family which would last indefinitely.

The judge said he had reduced the sentence from one of 30 years to account for Thakor's good character, saying he did not believe he was a violent person outside of the unusual facts of this case.