A man who stabbed his partner in the neck as she slept with their child told a court ‘the evil spirit’ was in him.
Alex Gebreys said he didn’t know what he was thinking of as he climbed the stairs to the bedroom of the house in Stephen Street in Hartlepool, where his former partner Semhar Kidani was sleeping.
“I don’t know what came over me at the top of the stairs,” Gebreys told a jury via an interpreter at Teesside Crown Court.
“The evil spirit was in me, after I stabbed Semhar I crossed myself because I thought that would get rid of the evil spirit,”
Gebreys, an Eritrean whose asylum application has been rejected in Holland and the UK, moved in with Ms Kidani, 24, who has been granted asylum.
The pair lived together for more than a year from February 2015, but they argued and Gebreys moved out.
Ms Kidani told the court earlier Gebreys had been violent and abusive during the couple’s relationship, and had tried to push her down the stairs.
“I was scared like, I was on the third stair, I was holding on to my son,” said Ms Kidani in a video interview played to the jury.
“He was shouting at me and trying to push me.
“I had hold of my son, and I was thinking Alex is maybe not beating me if he knows I’m holding my son.”
Ms Kidani said there were other arguments during which Gebreys threatened to kill her.
“He was saying always he would kill me one time,” she said. “I was thinking he wouldn’t do anything like that to me because I am in a safe country.”
Ms Kidani, who is partially paralysed and a permanent hospital in-patient, was asked what she thought of Gebreys after he attacked her.
She said: “He is like a devil for me now, I feel I am scared when I think of him.
“I don’t know why he’s done this to me.”
Gebreys, 30, of no fixed abode, admits wounding Ms Kidani with intent to do her grievous bodily harm on November 23. He denies attempted murder.