A man from Rugby who slashed his former partner’s new boyfriend with a knife after kicking his way into her home has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Willam Hall, 24, of Yarrow Close, was already subject to a suspended sentence for assaulting his ex-partner and was given a custodial sentence after pleading not guilty to wounding victim Lee Hughes with intent, but guilty to unlawfully wounding him.
At the sentencing hearing at Warwick Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday), Hall was ordered to serve the sentence consecutive to 20 months of the 23-month suspended sentence he had been given in September.
Prosecutor Anthony Potter said Hall had previous convictions for violence, including a wounding in 2010 and common assault on his then-partner Chelsea Jones in 2012, for which he was given a community order.
Then in September last year, for a vicious and sustained assault on Miss Jones, including punching and headbutting her, he was given a 20-month suspended sentence.
He was also given an additional three months, also suspended, for common assault on a policewoman by spitting at her as he was being arrested.
At that hearing it was said that Miss Jones was standing by Hall, with whom she had a young son, but by early December they had split up and she was in a new relationship with Mr Hughes.
Despite having been warned by his father to stay away, on Sunday, December 6, Hall went to Miss Jones’s home as she was in the kitchen preparing a meal, and began shouting: “Where is he then?”
When he then began shouting abuse through the letterbox, ignoring her requests to leave, she started to call the police, and told him what she was doing.
But she then heard the wooden panel of the back door, which Hall had already broken a few weeks earlier, being kicked – so she retreated upstairs and woke Mr Hughes, who was in bed.
While she was still on the phone to the police, she heard the defendant entering the property and coming into the kitchen and searching through a drawer where she kept knives.
He appeared upstairs moments later armed with a kitchen knife and came into the room where Mr Hughes and Miss Jones were, and where her son was on the floor.
Mr Potter said: “Chelsea Jones was petrified, as was Mr Hughes, and she was trying to encourage him to jump out of a window to escape.
“Mr Hughes shouted at Mr Hall to drop the knife, and for a moment he hesitated. Sadly he didn’t drop it, and instead he swung at Mr Hughes with his other hand.
“As Mr Hughes began to struggle with him, Hall swung at him with the knife, causing a six-inch wound above his left eyebrow.”
Mr Hughes managed to grab hold of the blade and pull it from Hall, cutting his hand and fingers and suffering damage to the tendons of one finger, for which he needed surgery, in doing so.
Having got the knife, Mr Hughes ran downstairs and threw it out into the garden, at which Hall ran from the house, and the police were called and began a hunt for him.
Five days later officers returned to the address and spoke to Miss Jones about whether she had seen Hall since the incident.
She said she had not – but they searched her home and found him hiding in a bathroom cupboard and arrested him.
David Everett, defending, said: “He knows he is going to custody. He accepts that jealousy and anger at the time played a part in the offence.”
Jailing Hall, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “You know that when you behave in the way you did, you will go to prison for a significant period.
“You burst your way into that house, smashing through the door, and picked up a knife and confronted Mr Hughes in the presence of your own child.
“You attacked him, cutting him across the forehead with that knife. It is fortunate it didn’t cut his eye.
“This was a sustained assault, and there was a degree of premeditation, and it was at the home of this woman where she and her child were entitled to feel safe.”