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Man who stabbed his partner given 16 years

News   •   May 10, 2019 16:07 BST

A man who stabbed his on-off partner 39 times has been sent to prison for 16 years.

Liam Hanley was found guilty of GBH with intent on his partner Sarah Harries on March 13 after a two-and-a-half week trial at Lewes Crown Court.

On May 10 he was sentenced to 16 years in prison at Hove Crown Court.

On Tuesday, September 4 last year, Hanley, 32, and his on-off partner of a year, Sarah, had spent the day together in Shoreham where Sarah lived.

On returning to Sarah's flat on Shoreham Beach, Sarah ran herself a bath. However a short time later, Liam came into the bathroom and stabbed 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 he fled the flat.

Sarah had suffered 39 stab wounds, including to her neck, abdomen and arms with the deepest wound to her neck. She suffered a punctured lung. She was rushed to Royal Sussex County Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery and miraculously survived her horrific injuries.

Police officers began hunting for Liam. 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.

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, on March 13 a jury found him guilty of GBH with intent with Judge Henson calling it a "vicious assault". After the sentencing Sarah said: "I've been left with scars all over my body, some more visible than others. What really hurts is that Liam did this, I loved him and I still don't understand what made him do it."

Detective Constable Katy Lewis said: "I am really pleased with the sentence as it reflects the seriousness of the offence.

"Sarah has thankfully made a recovery, however this attack with have an impact on her for the rest of her life. I am grateful Sarah has been able to come to court and bravely face Liam once again.

"This was a horrific attack and came completely out of the blue, the ferocious nature of it shocked not only Sarah but also the close community in Shoreham."

Author: Jenni Nuttall
Ref: SXP54644/2019