A man who slashed his then-girlfriend with a machete after ‘ferociously’ losing his temper over the care of their pets.
George Burnip, 33, inflicted a six-inch wound on Lorraine Kennedy when he attacked her at the home they shared last September.
Miss Kennedy, who needed 28 stitches, will be left with scarring on her leg as a result of the attack, which came after the pair had argued over the care of pets, Durham Crown Court was told.
Burnip was a carer for Miss Kennedy – who has learning difficulties – for the four years of their relationship, judge Christopher Prince also heard.
He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent after both parties initially claimed it was an accident.
The guilty plea came after a forensic pathologist gave evidence that Miss Kennedy’s injuries appeared to have been caused deliberately.
It was simply a small, trivial argument regarding ownership and care of some pets which resulted in him losing his temper quite ferociouslyAmrit Jandoo
Burnip appeared in court via a video link from Durham Prison.
Defending, Amrit Jandoo said: “He was her carer for four years and it appears that, having looked after her and attended to her needs, that he lost his temper on this occasion.
“It is inexcusable to use a weapon of this kind and inflict injuries like this.
“He has no previous convictions and is still shocked and horrified by his actions.
“It was simply a small, trivial argument regarding ownership and care of some pets which resulted in him losing his temper quite ferociously.”
Miss Kennedy required hospital treatment for two-and-a-half hours and needed 14 internal and 14 external stitches, the court heard.
It was also said that the wound will leave scarring.
Prosecutor Shaun Dryden said: “When police officers attended, the defendant said he had left his machete on the bed and she had fallen onto it.
“In the initial call to the ambulance service from one presumes the defendant, he said there had been an argument when the injured party had fallen onto a knife.
“There were later a number of defence statements submitted alleging he was responsible for the injury, but the wound was caused after he was swinging the machete around.
“A forensic pathologist was instructed, and she concluded that the machete would have been deliberately pulled across the skin.
“She wouldn’t have expected the injuries to have been caused in the manner described by the defendant in any of his various statements.”
Judge Prince sentenced Burnip, of Alexander Terrace, Wheatley Hill, to eight years jail – of which he told him he should expect to serve half in custody – and made him the subject of a restraining order, so that he is not allowed to contact Miss Kennedy.