SPENDING too much time cooped-up together during the coronavirus lockdown in March led to a 35- year-old man launching a knife attack on his partner in Stroud, a court heard yesterday, Wednesday.
Robert Kendrick was like ‘a man possessed’ as he knifed long-term boyfriend four times, Bristol Crown Court was told.
Prosecutor Susan Cavender said the man suffered wounds to his chest and neck before managing to escape from Kendrick and flee to the street outside his home in Gloucester Street, Stroud.
A passer-by saw him sitting on a step trying to stem the flow of blood from his injuries and he called an ambulance and sat with him till it arrived.
Kendrick himself had dialled 999 from the victim’s home and admitted stabbing his partner. When arrested he asked how his partner was and said he had wanted to kill him.
Kendrick, of Badminton Road, Matson, Gloucester, admitted wounding the man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on March 25 this year and was jailed for five years and three months.
Mrs Cavender had told the court that the two men had been in an on/off relationship for 17 years, during which time they had sometimes lived together and sometimes apart.
But at the start of the coronavirus lockdown they had spent a lot more time in each other’s company than usual because they were isolating together at the victim’s home.
“On March 25 the two men were watching films on television and drank two bottles of wine between them. They had started on a third bottle when Kendrick became argumentative.
“The victim says that Kendrick has a problem with alcohol and on this occasion he went to the kitchen and returned with a knife.
“He used the knife to attack the victim, who was still sitting on the sofa. The victim said it was wholly unprovoked and that a struggle developed because he was trying to defend himself from being stabbed with the knife by Kendrick. He was stabbed four times to his chest and his neck.
“Eventually, he was able to escape from the clutches of Kendrick and get out of the flat and run downstairs into the street.
“A member of the public was walking in the High Street and came across the victim sitting in a doorway trying to stop his blood flowing from his neck. The man also noticed that the victim was bleeding from a number of places on his chest.
“The man called the emergency services and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived at 8.15pm.”
The victim was treated at Southmead Hospital in Bristol and then Bristol Royal Infirmary before being discharged.
The court was told that Kendrick had himself dialled 999 and told the police he had just stabbed his boyfriend. The call handler said that Kendrick was calm, but aggressive, and said that he stabbed him because he was trying to rape him.
The police arrived at the flat and escorted him away.
The police examined the flat and realised the victim had lost a lot of blood as it was all over the living room.
Ms Cavender added: “Kendrick was taken into custody and asked the police officer the victim was dead?
“He was told that he was not – to which Kendrick said ‘I wanted to kill him’.”
The court was told that Kendrick had taken illegal drugs on the days prior to the attack but nothing on the day of the incident.
In a statement, the victim said: “Over the past two years I’ve lived with Kendrick in Stroud and for the most part he has been a most kind and generous boyfriend.
“Obviously the injuries I sustained as a result of the incident were awful. I feel that they were a result of a combination of being in isolation together and his large alcohol intake during which times I became scared.
“If Kendrick could control his alcohol intake he could be a nice young man.”
Sarah Jenkins, defending, said: “While Kendrick has a history of violent offending it was all quite mild in comparison to this latest offence.
“The victim was correct when he stated that it happened because they were isolating together. They had spent a lot more time together than would normally be the case.
“Kendrick’s version of events is slightly different as he said the argument began over the victim receiving a message from his mother and said that she was pestering him.
“Kendrick said he replied that the victim was lucky to still have his mother in his life and a heated argument ensued.
“Kendrick did, however, report the incident to the police and admitted to them that he had committed the offence and he thought he had inflicted more serious wounds on the victim than he actually did.
“Kendrick was a victim of domestic violence as a child and is on medication for his own mental health issues, which were made worse following his mother’s death in 2016.”
Kendrick, of Badminton Road, Matson,pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court in August to unlawfully and maliciously wounding the victim with intent to do him grievous bodily harm on March 25 this year.
Judge Michael Cullum said to Kendrick: “You have previously been convicted of a number of incidents of violence, beginning in 2003 with a glassing incident and lastly in 2017 for causing actual bodily harm to a former partner.
“I don’t consider you as a dangerous offender, in the legal sense, but you are exceptionally dangerous and you could have caused your victim much greater harm than you did.
“You recognised this fact when, at the police station, you asked if the victim had died. At the time you said you wanted to kill him, but I appreciate that was said in the heat of the moment, having consumed a large amount of alcohol.
“This was not a sustained attack, but what you did was to take a knife from the kitchen and when you lost your temper you stabbed the victim.
“You phoned the police and reported what you had done and in the main were compliant thereafter.
“You didn’t show any remorse until sometime later. The injuries you caused were mercifully fairly slight with no great long-term harm caused.”
The judge jailed Kendrick for five years and three months, subjected him to an indefinite restraining order not to contact the victim and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £181.