A schizophrenic drug user who stabbed his long-term partner repeatedly to her chest and back with so much force that the knife had to be removed by invasive surgery has appeared before Swansea Crown Court for sentence.
At around 3pm on the afternoon of Sunday, September 25, Christopher Chandler stabbed Ann Marie Matwychuk repteadly on seven separate occasions.
Her blood loss was horrific, resulting in a total of eight transfusions, the first of which had to be administered in the ambulance as she was being rushed to hospital.
Each of the seven thrusts were directed at either Ms Matwychuk’s chest or back, resulting in a collapsed lung and narrowly missing her spinal cord.
The court heard that the assault took place after the couple had spent the day drinking alcohol and consuming amphetamines. Several weeks earlier, Chandler had stopped using the medication prescribed by his GP for schizophrenia, which resulted in increased controlling behaviour towards his partner.
On the day in question, he became increasingly agitated at the amount of time his partner was spending on her mobile phone, and assumed she was messaging other men.
But in a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Matwychuk said his behaviour had begun spiralling out of control several weeks prior to her attack, causing her to seek help from a number of agencies.
“On the day of the offence, he became concerned over her use of her mobile phone,” said barrister Peter Rouch, KC, for the Crown. “So he took the kitchen knife and held it to her throat, threatening to kill her.
“She was so frightened that she texted her mother, who called the police.”
A short while later, Chandler began putting his threats into motion. He pulled out a Russell and Hobbs kitchen knife and began stabbing his partner in her chest and back.
“You tried to kill her,” commented Judge Paul Thomas as he passed sentence on Chandler earlier today (Monday, February 27).
“You tried to carry out what you threatened to do some time earlier that day, and as a result of what you did, she felt mortally wounded.”
Despite her fear and pain, the court was told that Ms Matwychuk apologised to Chandler during the attack.
“When she apologised to you, this was indicative of her great fear,” continued Judge Thomas. “And yet you said [to her] ‘I’ll get a slap on the wrist because I’ve got mental health’.
“That’s a great insight into your mind that day. The harm speaks for itself.”
As a result of the stab wounds, the victim spent several weeks in hospital and, following her eventual release, had to be readmitted on two separate occasions, once because she was threatening to take her own life.
“Her self confidence and her self worth has been impacted,” continued Peter Rouch, KC.
“She feels she has aged as a result of the trauma and has felt unable to return to her old home. It’s difficult to assess the long term effects of those injuries, but it’s likely there will be long term pain from the back injuries as well as permanent scarring to her face, neck and chest as a result of the invasive surgery that was carried out.”
Chandler, 57, of Mackworth Court, Swansea, pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted murder.
He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He will spend three quarters of the sentence in custody before being released on licence.