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25th Feb 2023

Woman tried to saw boyfriend’s head off with a bread knife after stabbing him 29 times – but he survived

Steve Hopkins

The attacker was said to be ‘mortified’ by what she had done

A woman who tried to saw off her boyfriend’s head with a bread knife after stabbing him 29 times has been jailed for 12 years.

Samantha Smith, 56, launched the frenzied attack at her partner’s home after she pinned him down on the bed armed with two blades.

It left the 59-year-old victim with life-threatening injuries but he incredibly survived the assault after being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

A court heard Smith had armed herself with two kitchen knives before stabbing her lover 29 times in the chest and stomach at the property in Hereford.

The attack also included “trying to saw his head off” with a serrated bread knife and leaving a 10cm (3.9ins) wound.

The victim was able to phone 999 and police arrested Smith who admitted what she had done but has never revealed why.

Smith, of Hereford, went on to plead guilty to one count of attempted murder and was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

Sentencing, Judge James Burbidge KC said she had attacked the victim “ferociously” and had “tried to remove his head”.

He said it was a “spontaneous attack” but decided he could “not say with any certainty” whether she would be dangerous in future.

The court heard the pair, who had known each other for more than 40 years, had spent the day drinking lager and Jack Daniels, a drink Smith had not tried before.

Prosecutor Jennifer Josephs said their relationship could be “destructive” and Smith jumped on top of the victim as he lay on his bed.

In a victim personal statement, the man said he struggles to sleep and freezes when he has to use a knife in the kitchen.

He has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the attack on July 3 last year.

Francesca Levett, defending, said Smith had mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder and was “mortified” at what she had done.

She said the knife had not been taken to the scene, only collected from the victim’s kitchen, it was not pre-meditated and she accepted full responsibility.

Her behaviour was said to be “alien” and the “frenzied” attack was “very out of character”, Levett said as she added it would “never happen again”.

Smith was told to expect to serve at least two-thirds of her sentence before being eligible for release on licence.

Detective Constable Emma O’Hare, of West Mercia Police, said: “This was a brutal attack which could have very easily have made this a murder trial.

“Thankfully, the victim was strong enough to work with us in preparing this case and I’m happy to report he is making a good, physical recovery.

“Domestic abuse isn’t isolated to women victims. “Many men are in abusive, coercive, controlling, and violent relationships and quite often, they keep their abuse to themselves. “I want to reassure any victim of domestic abuse that we are here for you.

“Regardless of your gender, we will listen, we will investigate every report and we will support you.

“I want to thank the survivor of this horrendous ordeal for their trust in police, their courage, and their openness.

“My only hope is that they can now perhaps close one chapter of this book and start to rebuild their life.”

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