Man who stabbed four in fit of jealousy at house party jailed
A man who went on a stabbing and slashing rampage after he saw his partner in the arms of someone else was given a nine-year sentence yesterday.
Ordering Matthew Kane to spend half his sentence behind bars and the rest under supervised licence conditions, Downpatrick Crown Court Judge Piers Grant told the 48-year-old he would have handed him a 12-year sentence if he had not pleaded guilty.
Initially charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, Kane, in custody at Maghaberry Prison but with an address at Central Promenade in Newcastle, pleaded guilty to four counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a weapon, namely a Stanley knife.
Judge Grant said that by launching multiple knife attacks, Kane had caused a "high level of harm" to his victims due to the "very serious offending".
Describing how Kane was motivated by a "high level of jealousy", the judge told him the incident was "at the top end of this kind of offending".
He said that while Kane had pleaded guilty, "the evidence was overwhelming", in relation to the incident which was "wholly inexcusable..." and must be seen in the context of "domestic abuse".
At an earlier hearing the judge was told that Kane attacked three men and a woman with a Stanley knife after he saw his partner Laura Ramsey in a bedroom window with a male and they had their arms around each other.
Defence QC Eugene Grant told the court how Kane had been at home drinking wine, "fulminating in jealousy and suspicion" as he tried to call and text her before he went to the house in Saintfield in the early hours of March 11 last year.
It was then that Kane tried to get into the house and, when he was refused entry, started slashing anyone who got in his way.
The first person he attacked was Catherine Brody who answered the door to him. She refused to let him in and Kane dragged her outside by the hair.
Prosecuting counsel Samuel Magee described how she "felt a blow to the side of her neck" and thought she had been punched "but she was soon to discover that he had stabbed her".
Another man at the house party, Laura Ramsey's brother Gareth Templeton, "tackled him to the ground". Neighbour David Mullan tried to intervene by punching Kane as he sat astride Ms Brody but Kane "immediately retaliated" and stabbed him.
Ms Brody's son Adam Rigby saw Kane "on top of a person in the garden" and went to their aid, but Kane slashed his forehead with the knife and swung a hammer at him.
Mr Magee said Adam Rigby came out of the house armed with a golf club and hit Kane who "struck out with the knife, stabbing and slicing in a sideways motion". Eventually, Kane stopped and surrendered himself to police at Lurgan station.
Kane denied that he had acted out of jealousy and also denied he had been the aggressor.
Losing his plea in mitigation last month, Mr Grant revealed that within a month of the incident Kane and Ms Ramsey had reconciled their relationship.
Welcoming the sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Julie Mullan said: "It is a miracle lives were not lost as a result of what was a savage and violent attack."