Man stabbed wife after burned photos argument

BEHIND BARS Andrew Day, who admitted the attempted murder of his wife.
BEHIND BARS Andrew Day, who admitted the attempted murder of his wife.

A man has been jailed for 11 years for trying to kill his wife after they argued about his burning their wedding photos.

Leeds Crown Court heard Peter Day later told police he had been having problems in his relationship with his wife, Julie, who was seeing another man.

He believed she was going to give their marriage another chance, but she had not come home the previous night.

Prosecutor Michael Smith said that when Mrs Day arrived on the morning of June 9 to change her clothes, Day went out briefly before returning. It was then Mrs Day realised he had burned wedding photographs and other wedding mementoes.

Day told her he had done it because as far as he was concerned their relationship was over and asked why she had come to the house in St Paulinus Close, Westtown.

After she said it was her house too, they began to argue about what he had done.

When she went upstairs to change, Day armed himself with a kitchen knife with a 20cm blade and followed her.

Mr Smith said Day pushed his wife on the bed and she saw he had a knife. He straddled her and dropped the knife, only to pick it up and stab her in the chest.

Mrs Day was screaming and begging him not to hurt her, but he then pulled out the knife, changed his grip so it was held in both hands and “forced it into her chest again.”

“When he pulled out the knife Mrs Day remembers blood spurting out everywhere,” said Mr Smith.

Mrs Day managed to get a towel to try and stem the bleeding when her husband got off her. She realised she also had wounds to her hand and to her lip.

Her husband left the house, told neighbours he had killed or tried to kill his wife, and called the police. He told the operator: “I’ve just tried to kill Julie, I’ve just tried to kill my wife.”

He then asked for an ambulance saying: “I’ve tried to kill my wife, I’ve stabbed her about four times”. He added that he was going to kill himself and then left the area.

Mr Smith said a neighbour went to help Mrs Day until paramedics arrived.

Mrs Day had two stab wounds in her chest, one of which was 5cms deep, and had air trapped next to her lung. She had to have a blood transfusion and spent three days in hospital.

Her husband was subsequently arrested at Dewsbury railway station. He told police he had not slept the night before the attack because he had been obsessing about the failure of their relationship.

He said he remembered nothing between the argument and being on top of his wife with a knife and the blood at the scene.

Nicholas Johnson, mitigating, said the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the argument in the context of their marital difficulties.

He said Day had found it very difficult knowing his wife was pursuing another relationship and had been suffering stress and some depression. He had checked himself into hospital for some days as a result.

After celebrating a wedding anniversary in June, he hoped things would improve.

“He feels an enormous amount of guilt and shame and still loves her very much,” he said.

Day, 50, admitted attempted murder.

Jailing him on Monday, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said he accepted the behaviour was out of character but he had armed himself with a knife.

“It was the largest knife from the block in the kitchen. It is a dreadful weapon.”

Having dropped it once he had persisted in his actions in spite of his wife’s screams and begging him not to do it.