A man who stabbed his ex-partner as she slept with their 15-month-old son has been jailed for 20 years.
Alex Gebreys told a jury at Teesside Crown Court 'the devil was in me' when he stabbed Semhar Kidani in the neck seven times, severing her spinal cord.
Ms Kidani, 24, who had been granted asylum in this country, was left paralysed from the neck downwards.
The court heard she has since recovered some movement in one side, but is still in hospital, and her paralysis is likely to be permanent.
Gebreys admitted stabbing her, but said he only wanted to frighten her, and had not intended to kill her.
The couple were estranged at the time of the attack.
Gebreys turned up at Ms Kidani's house in Stephen Street, Hartlepool, in the early hours, and crept in while she was asleep.
He took a knife from the kitchen, mounted the stairs, and stabbed her, leaving both her and their son covered in blood.
Gebreys, 30, of no fixed abode, denied attempted murder on November 23, last year.
He was convicted after a trial lasting three days.
Sentencing Gebreys to 20 years in prison, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton told him: "You stabbed her repeatedly in the neck, and you were convicted of attempted murder on compelling evidence.
"You fled the scene, and have since shown very little remorse.
"I can only imagine the ordeal she and her son suffered, and will continue to suffer."
Gebreys stood motionless with his head bowed as sentence was passed.
After the case, investigating officer Detective Sergeant Steve Rowland said: “This was an extremely violent attack on a defenceless woman while she lay asleep in her home in the middle of the night.
“The victim’s relationship with Gebreys had recently broken down and she didn’t want him in her life any more due to his aggressive behaviour.
“On the night of this incident Gebreys let himself into the property without permission, took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the victim seven times in front of their 18-month-old son.
"This left her unable to move due to a severe injury to her spinal cord.
“Gebreys then left the address and sought refuge with friends in Middlesbrough before a manhunt led to his arrest the same day.
“The victim has been detained in hospital ever since and is unable to live her life as she had done, and cannot care for her son as she used to.
“Her health has shown significant improvement recently but she still has a long road ahead to get back to normality.
"I hope that Gebreys’ conviction and sentence provides some comfort to the victim, and I wish her well with her continued recovery.”