Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family's Anger as Two Juries Fail to Convict Attacker

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family's Anger as Two Juries Fail to Convict Attacker

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeremy Armstrong Reporter

THE FAMILY of a young woman whose lover plunged a knife into her chest are furious after two juries failed to convict him.

David Martin narrowly missed the heart of his ex-girlfriend Kate Taylor after she told him their relationship was over. He invited her into his car before stabbing her, leaving the weapon four inches into her chest.

Two juries failed to convict Martin, 31, of wounding with intent, which carries a life sentence. Instead, he has only been sentenced for unlawful wounding, a lesser charge. He told Newcastle Crown Court he "did not mean" to stab Miss Taylor and the injury was caused as he tried to "get her attention".

Now her angry mother Beverley, 58, has hit out saying: "If he had hit her body and lungs and we had a body on our hands. Kate is going to be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life."

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, said: "I was appalled to hear of Kate's ordeal and am deeply alarmed this violent man is free to walk the streets. Domestic violence is a massive social problem. It is a problem that kills two women every single week in England and Wales.

"Refuge would like to see more domestic violence specialists being called to give expert evidence in domestic violence cases. These specialists will help to inform the jury's understanding of the complex risks and dynamics."

Polly Neate, chief executive at Women's Aid, added: "The way the justice system deals with instances of domestic violence simply does not reflect the seriousness of the problem.

Men who abuse their partners regularly escape with insubstantial sentences, when they are even brought to court at all."

Prosecutors did not seek a third trial over the attack, accepting Martin's plea to unlawful wounding, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. …

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