Sunderland knifeman who stabbed ex-girlfriend walks free after two trials collapse

David Martin
David Martin
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A BESOTTED knifeman who plunged a blade into his ex-girlfriend’s chest while trying to “get her attention” is back on the streets.

David Martin was originally accused of trying to murder Kate Taylor when he thrust the weapon deep into the left side of her chest after she told him he had to learn to live without her.

After two trials the 31-year-old was found not guilty of attempted murder but two juries failed to agree whether he should be convicted of wounding with intent, which carries a life sentence.

Prosecutors at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday confirmed they would not seek a third trial over the attack, which happened in Martin’s car, and accepted his plea to unlawful wounding, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced Martin, who had also admitted having an offensive weapon, to 20 months behind bars and accepted his version of events of what happened in the car park at EDF at Doxford Park in Sunderland, where the former couple both worked, last May.

The judge said: “In a moment of desperation you took the knife out of your bag and held it against Miss Taylor’s chest, wanting to get her attention, wanting her to understand the state you were in.

“You clearly remained dependent upon her.

“There was a struggle and she tried to push the knife away.

“During the course of the struggle the knife, which was being held at an acute angle to her body, went into Miss Taylor’s chest. “

The court heard the blade entered four inches into Miss Taylor’s chest and she told jurors she had feared she was going to die.

Judge Sloan told Martin: “You had not intended to stab her, let alone injure her, but you accept your actions were unlawful and reckless.”

Martin must abide by a restraining order which prevents him from contacting Miss Taylor in future.

The judge said: “You introduced a large, potentially lethal knife into an argument and held it against Miss Taylor’s chest.

“There was a high risk of serious injury given the confined space you were in.”

Martin’s criminal past was revealed in court yesterday for the first time.

Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC said Martin first got in trouble with the police when he was just 13 and he was cautioned for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour intending to stir up racial hatred.

Martin was cautioned for burglary when he was aged 14 and convicted of assaulting a boy of the same age that same year.

In February 2003 he was cautioned for affray which involved him fighting in the street.

In 2008 he was cautioned for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

In September 2009 he was cautioned for battery which involved him punching a 17-year-old male in the street.

In April 2012, after his relationship with Miss Taylor ended, but before the attack on her, he was given a penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly.

Martin, 30, of Telford Road, Thorney Close, Sunderland, will be released from custody due to the 17 months he has spent on remand since the attack.

The court heard Miss Taylor had reluctantly agreed to meet up with Martin on her lunchbreak that day on May 11 last year after he had “bombarded” her with messages and calls since their break up in November 2011.

Martin told jurors at his last trial: “I thought that the knife would get her attention”.

Glen Gatland, defending, said Martin has suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and adjustment disorder.

Mr Gatland said: “What he was wanting was her attention. He told her she wasn’t listening to him. He said he needed help from her.”