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Knife-carrying man attacked ex-partner in Keswick bistro

Carlisle Crown Court

A KNIFE-carrying man who attacked his ex-partner as she worked at a Keswick bistro has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Matthew Harrison, 40, “stormed” into the Lakes Bar and Bistro on May 17 carrying a foot-long serrated blade. While customers and other staff members were present, Harrison went behind the bar and shoved his ex, Joanne Minshaw, attempting to punch her before a colleague intervened.

It was only after he left that Miss Minshaw saw a knife on the floor – and found a 12cm stomach scratch beneath damaged clothing. “I am lucky to be alive,” she later told police. “What he did has mentally scarred me.”

Harrison admitted actual bodily harm assault, common assault, affray and possession of a knife in public. He was also sentenced for stealing more than £7,600 from a Berkshire betting shop, in 2014, while employed as a store manager.

Recorder Julie Clemitson suspended a 14-month jail term for two years, concluding there was a “reasonable prospect of rehabilitation”.

The judge heard Harrison, now of The Old Orchard, Farnham, Surrey, was “remorseful” and seeking to address mental health issues. He must complete a building better relationships course, and rehabilitation, and was also banned from contacting Miss Minshaw for five years.

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