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Jail for man who hid in shed before stabbing ex-lover

A man who hid in a garden shed while his former partner was at church before stabbing her multiple times in front of their young children has been jailed for 18 months.

Samuel McCormick McCone hid in the shed of the former family home in Newtownabbey, armed himself with a knife and waited for his ex to come home from church before attacking her in the kitchen.

Branding the attack as a "serious incident of domestic violence", Judge Donna McColgan handed 52-year-old McCormick a three-year sentence – half in custody and half on supervised parole.

Before the stabbing, McCone and his former partner had been in a relationship for eight years and had three young children together, the court heard.

They separated but after a number of domestic incidents, the woman was granted a non-molestation order in May last year.

Crown prosecutor Joseph Murphy said that on Sunday, June 2 last year, the woman had just arrived back from church when she was confronted in her kitchen by McCone, who had been hiding in a garden shed.

A verbal altercation between the former couple broke out and after McCone "started swinging the knife at her", he grabbed her from behind and stabbed her several times in front of their two youngest children, who at the time were aged six and eight.

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Belfast Crown Court heard the woman managed to run outside. When the emergency services arrived, she was taken to Antrim Area Hospital, while McCone was arrested. The injured woman was treated for stab wounds to her abdomen, back and forearm.

The prosecutor said that when police examined the scene, they recovered an eight-inch stainless steel knife which bore the woman's blood.

Mr Murphy said that when the injured woman returned home from hospital a few days later, she discovered her 42-inch flatscreen TV, laptop and mobile phone had been smashed.

McCone, from Knockview Road in Newtownabbey, accepted he had breached the non-molestation order and pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and criminal damage.

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