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Domestic abuser locked up after knife attack on pregnant partner

By John Scott | Walsall | Crime | Published:

A man who attacked his partner while armed with a knife when she was 33 weeks pregnant with his child has been locked up for two years three months.

Shameless Shane Withnall had made life a misery for his partner with his controlling behaviour during their relationship, a judge heard.

The 19-year-old grabbed the knife as he flew into another rage, possibly triggered by the sight of her talking to a neighbour, on May 25, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

He lashed out while still holding the weapon, the blade of which sliced into the right hand she raised in a desperate bid to block the blow, explained Mr Harinderpal Dhami, prosecuting.

She was left with a four-inch wound that permanently damaged the nerve of the index finger but was so frightened of him she told the ambulance crew who took her to hospital that she had cut herself while peeling potatoes, continued the prosecutor.

Withnall said he was anxious about the birth of the child and went with her but Mr Dhami speculated it also ensured she did not change her story during the journey.

After being discharged from hospital she told police she had had enough of her partner's physical abuse and called him back to the home they had shared, telling him she was leaving him and making it clear he would have to contact social services if he wanted any involvement with their child.

Another person at the address pulled the defendant away from the victim but Withnall still managed to grab hold of her face, cutting the skin with his nails, explained Mr Dhami.

She told of the months of abuse she had suffered, the wasted time spent with him in the hope he would change and the difficulties brought by her hand injury to caring for the child who is now two months old.

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Her statement continued: "My esteem was the lowest it has ever been. I was totally isolated and he was the only person I could talk to.

"This was not love, it was control.

"I gave him chances to change but he never did. He was even trying to manipulate me from custody, asking for the charges to be dropped."

Mr Rajinder Gill, defending, said: "A man attacking a woman who is about to give birth to his child is deeply unattractive and beggars belief. He wants to be a good father but that might take a long time."

Withnal, from Stafford Street, Walsall, pleaded guilty to wounding and assault by battery.

He was sent to a Young Offenders Institution by Recorder Martin Wasik who told him: "These offences were committed against a background of domestic abuse by you over a considerable time."

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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