A man who stabbed his partner to the head with a steak knife and bit her nose has been jailed after a jury rejected his claim that he had been acting in self-defence.
Andrew James had denied assaulting Jeanette Forsyth causing her actual bodily harm, but was found guilty by the jury at Warwick Crown Court.
Following the unanimous verdict, James (45) of Joseph Latham House, Riley Square, Coventry, was jailed for 27 months by Judge Andrew Lockhart QC.
Prosecutor Naomi Nelson-Cofie said that at the time of the assault in April last year James was in an on-off relationship with Miss Forsyth, with whom he had two children.
On the day of the incident they visited the home of friends in Dillotford Avenue, where both of them became ‘a little bit drunk,’ and James was unhappy about a conversation Miss Forsyth was having with one of her friends.
After they got home at around 10pm, Miss Forsyth was cooking something to eat in the kitchen when James questioned her about what she and her friend had been joking about.
Miss Forsyth, who was holding their youngest child, aged one, at the time, told him she had ‘had enough’ and said she wanted him to leave.
“She turned round, and the defendant was very close to her, and he told her he was going to kill her.
“She describes him taking a steak knife and striking it in her head in a downward stabbing motion with the tip of the knife, which cut her head,” said Miss Nelson-Cofie.
“It didn’t stop there. Still holding the child in her arms, the defendant punched her three times to her face and lunged forward and sunk his teeth into her nose.
“She took the view he was trying to bite her nose off.”
When he released his grip, her immediate reaction was to get out with the children, and they fled to her friend’s home from where the police were called.
She had a bite-mark cuts and swelling to her nose, a cut to the centre of her forehead and bruising to both eyes.
She was taken to hospital, but did not receive any treatment at the time, although she was later given a tetanus jab because of the bite to her nose, said Miss Nelson-Cofie.
James, who was arrested a few days later, accepted he had hit her, but claimed it was only once in self-defence.
He claimed it was Miss Forsyth who had the knife, and that he had had to defend himself, during which he had grabbed the blade of the knife, cutting the palm of his hand.
Miss Nelson-Cofie told the jury: “You have to decide whose account of what happened you accept,” and they took less than an hour to reject James’s version.