Woman backs partner’s bid to have nine-year jail term cut – despite being stabbed 14 times with a sword
A thug whose girlfriend forgave him after he stabbed her repeatedly with a 12in sword has failed to persuade top judges to cut his sentence.
Paul Hutchinson, of Hereford Road, Hillview, Sunderland, left the woman with a fractured rib and 14 stab wounds in total to her chest, legs, arms and neck from the attack.
The 48-year-old was jailed for nine years at Newcastle Crown Court after being found guilty of wounding with intent in May.
His victim gave evidence in his trial and asked the judge not to lock him up.
She also wrote to the Court of Appeal, supporting his bid to have his sentence reduced.
Judge Jeremy Carey QC told the court she wrote she “doesn’t consider herself a victim” – and even suggested she was partly to blame for the incident.
But the judge said that, despite what his partner now says, at the time of the incident she was in fear and “vulnerable” – having been subjected to an hour-long ordeal.
He said judges are familiar with cases of domestic violence involving victims who wish to “forgive and start again”.
The court heard police arrived at the woman’s home during the early hours of November 30 last year and found her screaming, covered in blood and holding a tea-towel to her neck.
She told an officer in the back of an ambulance Hutchinson had attacked after drinking heavily.
She described being dragged by her hair, punched and kicked and then stabbed again and again.
Hutchinson had two earlier convictions for violence towards previous partners.
He was aggressive when arrested and told a female police officer he would “get her raped” if she didn’t let him out of the van.
The crown court heard he was hardworking and a supportive family man, who should have received a shorter jail term.
Dismissing his appeal, Judge Carey said the sentence was “not excessive” for the “sustained assault”.
Sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, he added: “In our view, the judge was right not to regard the views of the victim as anything more than part of a narrative in this case.
“Trial counsel was able to say she did not come across as vulnerable at trial – indeed, quite the opposite.
“But the fact of the matter is that, whatever her demeanour at trial, on the night in question she was, in this court’s view, undoubtedly highly vulnerable.”