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Man convicted of stabbing his partner in Shoreham

News   •   Mar 13, 2019 15:35 GMT

A man who stabbed his on-off partner 39 times with a bread knife has been convicted.

Liam Hanley has been found guilty of GBH with intent at Lewes Crown Court of Sarah Harries after he stabbed her in the bath at her flat on Shoreham Beach last September.

The 32-year-old then fled the flat leaving her badly injured.

He was charged with attempted murder, after a two and a half week trial, a jury found him guilty of GBH with intent.

During Tuesday, September 4 Liam and Sarah, 37, who had been in an on-off relationship for around a year had spent the day together in Shoreham where Sarah lived.

They had visited Lidl to buy food and McDonalds for lunch.

While piecing together the day, officers traced CCTV which showed the couple together during the day.

At 6pm the couple went to the Ferry Inn pub for a drink and then went to Co-op to buy some tobacco.

When they returned home, Sarah ran herself a bath and got in. However a short time time later Liam came into the bathroom and began stabbing her. She managed to get out of the bath and fought him off. During the fight they moved from the bathroom to the kitchen and then then fled the flat.

Desperate Sarah made an urgent call to emergency services pleading with them to hurry to get to her quickly.

Emergency services rushed to her aid and found the flat covered in blood and Sarah crouched on the floor in the hallway. Sarah had suffered stab wounds to her neck, abdomen and arms with the deepest wound to her neck. She suffered a punctured lung. She was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. Miraculously Sarah survived her horrific injuries.

In the meantime the hunt was on by police to trace her partner, Liam. An image was issued to try and find him and officers began an extensive search.

On leaving the flat Liam had called a friend in Lancing who, unaware of what had happened, arranged for a lift with another friend to take Liam to Slough in Berkshire. During the journey Liam asked to stop for a cigarette and dumped a bag of clothes at the side of the road.

The driver dropped him off and while returning home received an alert from the Sussex Police's Facebook page alerting Liam was wanted. The driver immediately returned to Liam's friend, who had already called the police and waited for officers there to give them details about what had happened.

The next day, after staying at another friend’s house, Liam called police and handed himself into police in Maidenhead.

The 32-year-old was charged with attempted murder and his trial began on February 25. On March 13 a jury found him guilt of GBH with intent. He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on May 10.

Detective Constable Katy Lewis said: "This was a horrific attack on a woman which came completely out of the blue, shocking Sarah herself and the close community in Shoreham. There was no history of violence from Liam and Sarah was truly shocked by ferocious nature of the attack.

"Sarah has thankfully made a recovery however the scars and some of her injuries will have an impact on her for the rest of her life. She has bravely taken to the stand during the trial and faced Liam once again; I commend her for this and so grateful she is here to do so."

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised, you can find support here.

Author: Jenni Nuttall
Ref: SXP54349/2019

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