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Oulton woman escapes jail sentence

PUBLISHED: 10:09 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:11 06 July 2010

A 63-YEAR-OLD Oulton woman who stabbed her partner with a vegetable knife while he sat smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send her straight to prison.

A 63-YEAR-OLD Oulton woman who stabbed her partner with a vegetable knife while he sat smoking a cigarette at the kitchen table has walked free from court after a judge decided not to send her straight to prison.

Jean Soanes had walked into the room and picked up a paring knife with a 3-4 inch blade out of the cutlery drawer before lunging at 69-year-old John Sacree and telling him to get out of the house, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Mr Sacree had grabbed hold of Soanes' wrist in a bid to disarm her but when he lost his grip on her he felt a sharp pain at the top of his rib-cage, said Michael Crimp, prosecuting.

Soanes had then threatened to cut her wrists and Mr Sacree had tried to persuade her to let go of the knife while telling her he needed an ambulance.

“He was bleeding profusely,” said Mr Crimp.

Soanes had then calmed down and apologised to Mr Sacree and after calling for an ambulance had tried to stem the bleeding.

When paramedics arrived at the house both Soanes and Mr Sacree claimed he had been doing the washing-up and had fallen on the knife.

During interviews with police Soanes said she couldn't remember what happened.

Mr Crimp said Mr Sacree suffered a 1.5cm long wound to the left side of his chest. The wound tracked down 5cm parallel with the skin and needed three stitches.

Soanes, of Brendon Close, Oulton, admitted unlawfully wounding Mr Sacree in January this year and being in breach of a 16 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for driving while disqualified following a driving ban for an offence of drink driving.

Imposing an eight month jail sentence suspended for 18 months Judge David Goodin said he found it difficult to believe that Soanes had no memory of the events surrounding the stabbing.

He said she had inflicted a serious injury on Mr Sacree and it could have threatened his life.

In addition to the suspended sentence Judge Goodin made Soanes the subject of an 18 month supervision order, which will include an alcohol treatment requirement, and ordered her to pay £250 compensation to Mr Sacree.

Andrew Thompson, for Soanes, described the stabbing as a “complete aberration”.

“There is no history of violence by her to anyone,” said Mr Thompson.

He said that Soanes had turned to drink after suffering severe depression following the “untimely” death of her husband, who was the “love of her life”, in November 2005.

Mr Thompson said she had then become involved in a volatile relationship with Mr Sacree “on the rebound” which was not helped by her drinking.

He claimed that Mr Sacree had criticised her and her children and she had paid for holidays and his credit card bills. “Cracks began to appear in the relationship,” said Mr Thompson.

He said Mr Sacree had walked out in September 2008 but had returned in January. “Their problems persisted and things came to a head on January 21,” said Mr Thompson.

“There was an element of slow burn provocation,” he added.

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