A MAN who slashed his former partner with a knife to the foot after throttling her escaped immediate custody on Friday (December 21), because of the amount of time he had already spent in custody on remand.

Defendant Kyle Rudd, 24, of Orchard Way, Maesyrhandir, Newtown, admitted assault after his previous not guilty plea to a charge of coercive behaviour was accepted by the prosecution.

He appeared at Mold Crown Court via a live television link from Altcourse Prison in Liverpool and received a 12 month prison sentence suspended for a year.

Judge Niclas Parry, who described it as “a cowardly attack by a bully” made a five year restraining order under which he is not to contact victim Sheena Butterworth in any way.

He said that the defendant had served the equivalent of a 10 month sentence on remand and that was the only reason he could contemplate a suspended sentence.

“You strangled her. She thought she was going to die,” Judge Parry told him.

He waved a knife in her presence and slashed her toe.

The defendant clearly dominated her in the relationship, it was a serious case, and the sentence could go up to three years, he warned.

It was aggravated by the fact that he had a previous conviction for violence.

He had his first taste of custody and would receive credit in sentence for his guilty plea.

“My concern now is for the protection of any future partners that you may have,” the judge told him.

The appropriate way forward was to place him on rehabilitation, for up to 35 sessions, under a suspended prison sentence.

Defending barrister Phillip Clemo said that he had no objection to a five year restraining order but said he would not mitigate in view of the sentence the judge had indicated.

Prosecuting barrister Paulinus Barnes said that the assault, occasioning actual bodily harm upon Miss Butterworth happened on July 10.

They had been in a relationship for approximately two and a half years. It had been both a verbally and physically abusive relationship and in the two weeks before the incident, the defendant had threatened Miss Butterworth that he would ‘get his mum to pay someone to kill her’. That scared Miss Butterworth and she feared for her life.

On Tuesday, July 10, she was in her bedroom with the defendant. She asked him for some money for food and he refused. She persisted and asked the defendant what she had done wrong.

He accused Miss Butterworth of talking to a male friend, became aggressive and started picking up Miss Butterworth’s belongings, such as her make-up and clothes.

She stood up against the door to stop him from leaving and taking her belongings with him.

He grabbed her by her throat with his arm.

Mr Barnes said: “He put his arm around her neck and tried to choke her.”

Miss Butterworth told how he had done the same about a week before, causing her to ‘pass out’.

On this occasion, Miss Butterworth thought that she could die, so she struggled and tried to bite him on the arm to get away.

The defendant was holding a small knife with which he stabbed the wall, to the right of the door and a friend walked in and told him to stop.

Rudd threw Miss Butterworth on the bed, she could hear the other man telling him to stop, and she did not know how she was stabbed.

Initially Rudd had a small knife in his hand and then she saw a big knife that was serrated in parts and was about six inches long.

She recalled sitting on the bed with the defendant standing right next to her, bending down looking for his cannabis and swinging the big knife around.

He was swinging the knife near to her feet.

“Miss Butterworth did not feel anything at all. She recalls standing up and telling the defendant that she did not have his weed.

"Her left foot was bleeding.

"The defendant responded by telling her to shut up.

"He then found his cannabis, ran downstairs and slammed the front door as he left.

"While police were present he rang and told an officer that he would kill himself if he was not permitted to speak to Miss Butterworth.

“He was saying that it was an accident and that he had dropped the knife on Miss Butterworth’s foot,” said Mr Barnes.

The following day police heard information the defendant had returned, saw him climbing out of a rear window and officers gave chase.

Rudd tried to climb over a wall at the back of the property but was arrested.

Interviewed, he denied that he had stabbed Miss Butterworth either intentionally or accidentally.

He alleged that she had a knife in her hand and that the injury might have been caused when she was crouching down or when he took the knife from her. He denied taking hold of her by the throat.

Miss Butterworth had an injury to her bottom lip and an injury to her left foot, described as a ‘slice’ across the top of her big toe near the base.

It bled a lot, but was bandaged by a police officer and she did not seek medical attention.