Knife had to be surgically removed from woman after vicious attack

An “aggressive and controlling” man who repeatedly stabbed his partner with a kitchen knife in a ferocious attack which almost severed her spine has been jailed for 14 years. Christopher Chandler’s critically injured victim still had the weapon embedded in her back when she managed to crawl out of their flat and into a communal area.

She was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and needed multiple blood transfusions.

Swansea Crown Court heard that a stab wound to the woman’s chest had punctured her left lung causing it to collapse, and a knife wound to the back and narrowly avoided severing her spinal chord.

The embedded knife had to be surgically removed.

The woman also suffered stab wounds to her face, arm, neck, and the back of her shoulder.

Chandler, from Swansea, appeared at the court today for sentencing having previously pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

The court had heard that the 57-year-old had stopped taking his prescribed schizophrenia medication in the weeks before the attack.

Craig Jones, prosecuting, said the incident took place on November 25 last year at the couple’s flat.

He told the court there was evidence that in the weeks leading up to the assault Chandler had been “verbally aggressive and controlling” towards his partner to the point where she was receiving help from various agencies with a view to her getting her own place to live.

Robin Rouch, in mitigation for Chandler, said the defendant had not realised how quickly stopping taking his medication would affect him.

He said the lifestyle of both was one of alcohol and drug use.

And he said that no mental health hospital disposal was being recommended, and the defendant understood he faces a lengthy custodial sentence.

Wales Online reports that Judge Paul Thomas said it seemed Chandler had become verbally and aggressive towards his partner, a pattern of behaviour which had coincided with his stopping his schizophrenia medication.

He told the defendant that on the day of the attack, and while fuelled by alcohol and amphetamines, he’d put a knife to his partner’s throat and threatened to kill her before subsequently “trying to carry out that which you had earlier said” by stabbing her multiple times.

Judge Thomas said that the appropriate sentence after trial would have been one of 21 years in prison – with the required one-third discount for his guilty plea the defendant was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Chandler will serve two-thirds of the sentence in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

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In a victim’s impact statement, which was read to the court, she said the incident had impacted her self-confidence and feelings of self-worth, and she felt the trauma of the assault had “aged” her.

The court heard she had spent several weeks being treated in various hospitals and has long-term injuries to her back, a permanent scar on her lip, and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, albeit a diagnosis made in the context of a background of unstable personality disorder and alcohol misuse.

Detective Constable Andrew Hirst, of Neath CID, who was the officer in charge of the case said: “This was no doubt an extremely frightening incident for the victim who remained in hospital for some time receiving treatment for the serious injuries caused in the violence demonstrated by Christopher Chandler.

“The woman continues to recover from the trauma and receive further support”.

“The bravery shown by the victim is completely admirable and her strength throughout this process has been unwavering”.


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