Knife victim Martin McShane 'could have died' after being stabbed by partner Ann Doherty
A serial woman beater - who was jailed for punching his pregnant partner to the ground before kicking her in the stomach - was rushed to hospital after his partner stabbed him in the back with a bread knife.
Ann Marie Doherty stabbed Martin McShane (41) with the four inch-long blade after a drugs and alcohol-fuelled party in Mr McShane's Dunfield Terrace flat in the Waterside area of Londonderry on June 30 of last year.
A jury at the Crown Court in Derry was told by defence barrister Stephen Mooney that Doherty (35) admits stabbing her violent partner - the father of their three year-old son - in the back, but only after he had attacked and beaten her.
He said Doherty's case was that she had acted in self defence.
A police officer told the jury that when she and two colleagues went to the flat the door was locked.
It was eventually opened by Mr McShane, who had a blood stained sheet wrapped around him and was wearing only boxer shorts, which were also blood stained.
The police witness said Mr McShane told her he'd been stabbed in the back in his bedroom by the defendant.
The police found the bloodstained bread knife under a pile of clothes in the bedroom. She said the stabbing victim was taken to hospital and his partner was arrested.
In hospital Mr McShane, whose extensive criminal record includes convictions for assaults on Doherty, was treated for a lacerated and collapsed lung.
The police officer said she then spoke to the doctor who had treated Mr McShane.
"The doctor said Mr McShane was very lucky in that if the knife had gone in any further it could have been a lot worse because the blade just missed his heart," she said.
The officer said she then spoke to the victim and asked him to hand over his boxer shorts for evidential purposes.
She told the jury that Mr McShane refused and was aggressive to her and told her to "f*** off".
Stuart Planter, a paramedic who treated Mr McShane in his flat, said before he did so he asked the police to show him the knife to enable him to determine the potential depth of the stab wound.
"Mr McShane was sitting on the sofa in the living room leaning forward and he had a large stab injury to his back," he said.
"The size of the wound set off alarm bells within me because it was at the back of the heart.
"I assessed the stab wound and its depth. I took Mr McShane to the ambulance and got him to hospital as soon as possible in case the blade had penetrated the heart because that would have brought the time limit down to minutes.
"The size of the blade would have been indicative of the nature and seriousness of the wound and of how deep the blade could have gone in," Mr Planter said.
The hospital doctor who treated Mr McShane in the hospital's accident and emergency department wrote in a statement that initially Mr McShane refused medical assistance.
A member of the PSNI's Reactive And Organised Crime division said "if the blade had entered at only a slightly different angle it would most certainly have been fatal".
The trial continues.