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East Sussex man given 10-year sentence for vicious attack on partner

News   •   Aug 02, 2019 14:52 BST

An East Sussex man is starting a ten-year prison sentence for a violent attack on his partner in which he stabbed her in the neck with a pair of scissors.

Luke Berry, 38, a mechanic, of School Lane, Blackboys, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (1 August) having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to his 27-year-old-victim at his address on 23 February.

He will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence before he can apply for parole, and will have to serve a further four years on prison release licence beyond ten years, whenever he is released.

He was also given a court Restraining Order, to last until further notice, prohibiting him from approaching the victim, wither directly or indirectly

The victim had been in a relationship with Berry for six months, but she had decided to end it.

Refusing to accept her decision, Berry completely lost all self-control and attacked her repeatedly in the kitchen, punching her in the head. She was able to get free and ran for the front door but he got to her and pulled her into the living room before stabbing her in the front of her neck with a pair of scissors as well as causing small wounds behind her ear and her hand.

Detective Constable Tania Snashall of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, who investigated the case, said; "It was only down to sheer good fortune that the victim survived this attack by eventually getting away from him, with four stitches to the wound in her neck, in a situation that could have been fatal."

In sentencing Berry, Judge Paul Tain said; " I am of no doubt that this was unequivocally a sustained attack, that you were overcome by a murderous rage, and using scissors in the manner you did could have caused death”.

The Judge added that the primary aggravating feature was the record of Berry's previous convictions which showed his controlling and coercive behaviour in ending previous relationships.

DC Snashall added: “The success of this investigation was due to the bravery of the victim who after reporting it to police, continued to support the investigation throughout the whole process. This was a horrific experience for her, exacerbated by someone with whom she was in a relationship with and who she had trusted implicitly.

"Understandably this experience will take her time to recover from, both physically and psychologically but the sentence will go some way to allow her to begin the process of rebuilding her life.

"Domestic abuse should never be tolerated and this is one abuser who will now be serving a significant custodial sentence for his crime.

"This case shows that you do not need to suffer in silence. Help is at hand if you contact us. We can investigate and can also ensure you have protection and access to specialist sources of advice and support.

"If you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship like this, contact us at any time online or by calling 101, and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced detectives. But if you are feeling threatened or are in fear now, call 999."

For advice and sources of support and further information on domestic abuse see the Sussex Police website

Ref: SXP55147/2019
Author: Tim Mahony

The victim has told us that she does not wish to make any public or media statement and does not wish to be contacted by media.

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