A jealous father left his girlfriend’s lover paralyzed when he shouted “Die” and stabbed her in the neck.
Alan Harter threw a brick at Lorraine Maxwell’s window when he noticed his partner Mary Sweeney was in her bed.
The 56-year-old then threatened Miss Maxwell on the phone and shouted, “I’m going to kill you! I’m going to kill you! Watch what I’m going to do!”
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Judge David Aubrey, QC, said today, “These were not empty or useless words and you were determined to do just that.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Harter and Miss Sweeney were “on and off” in a relationship for 12 years and have two children, ages one and four.
Martin Reid, prosecutor, said: “She says the defendant has been violent in the past and describes him as ‘the jealous guy’.”
He said Miss Maxwell lived four blocks from Harter on Onslow Road, Fairfield, and had become friends with Miss Sweeney.
Mr. Reid said: “Over time, the applicant’s friendship with Ms. Sweeney developed into a romantic relationship that lasted about four months and ended a few weeks before the act.”
He added: “The defendant had yelled at the applicant in the past in the street and told her to stay away from his ex-girlfriend.”
The court heard that Miss Sweeney had recently moved back in with Harter, but on Saturday, September 4th, she spent the night in Miss Maxwell’s apartment after leaving her children with Harter.
Mr. Reid said, “Ms. Sweeney claims that the defendant used cocaine all night before going to the applicant’s home.”
The two women had a few drinks and went to sleep in Miss Maxwell’s bed before the victim was killed on Sunday the 5th.
Miss Maxwell called to Miss Sweeney, who realized she had missed calls from Harter on her phone.
They went outside and found a brick under the window, next to Miss Sweeney’s purse and bank cards cut in half.
Miss Sweeney called Harter accusing him of breaking the window, which he denied before calling back asking to speak to Miss Maxwell.
Mr. Reid said Miss Sweeney heard Harter shouting threats to assassinate Miss Maxwell.
Harter, who appeared on a video link from prison, exclaimed, “This is not true.”
Mr. Reid said none of the women took the threats seriously and that Miss Maxwell “just laughed”.
He said Miss Sweeney had a cigarette when she saw Harter running down the street and tried to get him, but he pushed past and went into the apartment.
Mr. Reid said Miss Maxwell saw “the silver part of a knife” before Harter repeatedly stabbed her and cried, “Die”.
Harter complained again in court: “No, that’s not true.”
The victim collapsed and passed out before Harter fled.
Miss Sweeney saw blood flow from the back of Miss Maxwell’s neck as the victim yelled for help and tried to stop the flow of blood with a tea towel.
Mr. Reid said, “Ms. Maxwell says she has lost all feeling in her body and the only thing she could feel was her head.”
Miss Sweeney called an ambulance and the police arrived at 5:30 am and provided first aid before an officer saw Harter walking down the street with his children.
He was arrested and said in a police vehicle, “My partner has a lesbian relationship with the one in the ambulance.”
Police found his blood-stained clothing in his house and a steak knife with a 3 cm blade in a neighbor’s garden before giving a largely comment-free interview.
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Miss Maxwell was treated at the hospital with two wounds on her neck, two wounds on one arm, and single wounds on her jaw, one of her ears, her right armpit and back.
Doctors found direct damage to the spinal cord in her neck, resulting in “immediate right-sided paralysis” and weakness in her arms and legs.
She was referred to the Southport Spinal Injury Department but was still in the hospital on November 3, waiting for a bed in the department.
The victim needs 24-hour care because he has only made “minor” improvements.
Mr. Reid said a doctor concluded, “A full recovery is extremely unlikely and that Ms. Maxwell will likely require care for the rest of her life.”
Harter, who has no previous convictions, admitted attempted murder at a hearing in front of the crown court and entitled him to 25% of his sentence.
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Mr. Reid said in a pre-sentence report that Harter used the derogatory term “D *** s” but it appeared that the attack was motivated by his belief that the victim was and was not in a relationship with Miss Sweeney through “hostility to their sexual orientation”. .
Judge Aubrey said he had heard twice that he had been attributed to Harter argument quotes.
After consulting with his client, defense attorney Julian Nutter confirmed that he would be convicted on the basis of the “complete facts” of the public prosecutor’s case.
Mr. Nutter said: “He wants to express absolute repentance through me. He is really sorry for what he did to his victim. He wishes he could turn the clock back, he really does.”
He said the attack was “totally atypical” for Harter.
Mr. Nutter said: “By his actions he not only caused suffering to his victim, but also lost his children, his home and his freedom.”
The lawyer said Harter would likely spend “most of his life” in prison.
He added, “I made him apologize. There is really nothing to add to that. It is a tragic case. Things have gotten out of hand.”
Judge Aubrey said to Harter, “You have been consumed with jealousy, anger and cocaine.”
He said: “With the intention of killing your victim, you ran up to Ms. Maxwell and repeatedly stabbed her.
“In my opinion it was a brutal attack on a defenseless woman, and during the attack you screamed ‘Die’ – a chilling word and angry.”
The judge said Miss Maxwell would likely require third-party care and medical treatment for the rest of her life.
He said, “She feels trapped, her life has been turned upside down and she describes how she now has no real life and feels trapped.”
Judge Aubrey has sentenced Harter to 22 and a half years in prison, two-thirds of which – 15 years – behind bars.
Sobbing, he told Harter that he would not be released until he was 71, as both relatives of the accused and the victim’s families cried in court.
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