Cumbria Crack

Thug who slashed partner with blade at her Penrith home is jailed for 80 months

James O’Neil

A MAN who slashed his girlfriend with a Stanley knife at her Penrith flat has been jailed for almost seven years.

James O’Neil, 31, woke Terri Heaton as she slept in the early hours of August 3 after he had been bingeing on alcohol and cocaine with friends.

O’Neil repeatedly punched Miss Heaton to the face before using a Stanley knife he pulled from his pocket to slash her just below the knee while making chilling threats to “end” and “kill” her. O’Neil continued the shocking attack by dragging his now ex-partner from her bed, kicking her in the back and slapping her face before she fled to a neighbour’s house.

“There was a trail of blood and puddle of it in the bathroom,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told Carlisle Crown Court today (MON) of the scene greeting police upon arrival.

Miss Heaton later received 15 stitches to close a wound which was deep and down to the muscle, had a chipped tooth and multiple bruises, and had since spoken of suffering regular flashbacks and nightmares. Of the scarring to her leg, she stated: “It is a daily reminder of what happened and will always be there. I feel that my life has been ruined. I hide away as much as I can.”

O’Neil, previously of Skiddaw View, Penrith, admitted wounding with intent and bladed article possession. The court heard he had previously received a lengthy custodial term as a teenager for slashing a man’s throat, and, in 2010, was sentenced for stabbing a man with a vegetable knife during a separate attack.
For the Penrith crimes, he was jailed for 80 months and made subject to an extended two-year licence period by Judge Nicholas Barker, who concluded O’Neil was a “dangerous” offender.

O’Neil was banned from contacting Miss Heaton indefinitely and must serve two-thirds of his prison term before being considered for release.

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