Belfast Telegraph

I'll have a good Christmas now evil ex behind knife frenzy has been caged

By Ashleigh McDonald

A woman who spent New Year on life support after being stabbed multiple times by her "evil" ex-partner has told how she will have a brilliant Christmas because of the jailing of her attacker.

Craig Binnie (43) armed himself with two knives before launching a frenzied attack in front of a five-year-old that left five people with horrific injuries on December 30, 2013.

After Binnie was handed a 13-year sentence yesterday his former partner Angela Bell said she thought the sentence should have been longer, but she was pleased he was "off the streets".

She added: "I spent the New Year two years ago on a life support machine... so I'm going to make sure this year we have a brilliant Christmas."

Angela, who was in a relationship with Binnie for five years, said she could never forgive the Scot for attacking her mother Nancy McDowell. Angela had been visiting her mum, who was recovering from brain surgery at the time, at her home in Ballyduff.

On the day Angela asked Binnie what he was doing with the two knives. He stabbed her, then stabbed Lisa Donaghy - the mother of Angela's grandson - before continuing his attack on Angela as she lay defenceless on the floor.

Neighbour Samuel Gaynor, who was 80 at the time, disarmed Binnie but in the process sustained multiple wounds.

Also injured during the incident was Nancy, and then Angela's brother Robert McDowell after he found Binnie with a knife stuck in his abdomen. He asked him what he was doing, but instead of answering Binnie tried to stab himself again before turning the weapon on Robert.

Binnie, who claimed he was "going through severe withdrawal" from cannabis and alcohol, later pleaded guilty to four counts of wounding with intent and a fifth count of wounding.

Angela's son Edward Bell, whose own young boy witnessed the attack, revealed the child was left severely traumatised.

"When it happened he had nightmares all the time, but they seem to have stopped now," he said. "For months after he used to take cleaning fits and clean things, as if he was cleaning blood up."

Samuel, a Korean War veteran now approaching his 83rd birthday, suffered 32 wounds, four of which were life-threatening. Despite being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his ordeal and being left with severe pain in his knees and hands, brave Samuel said that he would "more than likely do it again".

"He ran at me and struck me on my upper arm," he explained. "I realised I had been stabbed. He kept raining blows and stabbing me and I fell to the floor. He backed off, then came at me again and again, jumping on my legs and body, kicking me and stabbing me.

"I was defending myself as best I could and I knew I was fighting for my life. I realised that if he finished me he would or could go to my house and attack my wife and Nancy (who was there then). I remember thinking that I had to take this man down.

"I don't know where I got the strength but I fought my way to my feet, overpowered him and got the knife. I knew this was my only chance of survival." A weakened Samuel then made his way home.

"My wife saw me coming while she was phoning the police," he said. "She helped me into our house, as my knees were damaged where he'd been jumping on me.

"My wife, God bless her, had been caring for Nancy, who had been stabbed. She then laid me down on the dining room floor with a pillow under my head. My kitchen and dining room were like a war zone - blood everywhere.

"Then my left leg stopped moving and I couldn't breathe, as my right lung had been punctured. I remember saying to my wife: 'Love, I did my best, I think I'm going'. I then collapsed."

Angela added: "If it wasn't for Sammy I don't know what the outcome of that evening would have been. I might not be here now if it wasn't for him. In my opinion he saved my life and the lives of my family, and I'll always be so grateful to him."

Edward added: "Sammy is a real hero to do what he did that night."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph