Serial wife-beater stabbed partner with kitchen knife as she lay in bed

Mark Harris fled after cutting the phone line so his victim couldn't dial 999.
Mark Harris fled after cutting the phone line so his victim couldn't dial 999.

A serial wife-beater knifed his partner as she laid in her bed and threatened ‘she would be dead’ if she rang police after the drunken attack.

Drunken Mark Harris pinned his partner to the bed before punching and stabbing her.

The 29-year-old victim was left lying in a pool of her own blood, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Mark Harris fled the house in Sheriff Street, Hartlepool, cutting the landline cable as he went to prevent the victim calling 999, prosecutor David Crook told the court.

“He told her if she called the police she would be dead,” said Mr Crook. “It is accepted both parties had taken a drink that day.

“There had been an argument, but without warning Harris clambered on top of his victim in bed, pinning her down by the neck with one hand and punching her squarely on the nose with the other.

“The victim then felt a pain in the arm.

“It emerged later she had been stabbed with a kitchen knife which had a blade about 6cm long.”

The court heard Harris has a lengthy criminal record, including previous offences of violence against the victim, and violence against other women with whom he was in a relationship.

Harris, 45, admitted unlawful wounding on September 19.

Duncan McReddie, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Harris accepts he is an alcoholic and can behave disgracefully when in drink.

“He is determined to use his time in prison to tackle that problem.”

The Recorder, Mr Richard Wright QC, jailed Harris for two-and-a-half years.

The recorder told him: “This was a callous and brutal attack on a vulnerable woman in her own bed.

“It is fortunate the injuries were not much more serious.

“You didn’t know that when you cut the telephone before leaving the house.

“The very least the courts can do is give the victim a break from you for as long as possible.”

Harris, now of Mansfield Avenue, Thornaby, was made the subject of an indefinite restraining order banning him from contacting the victim.