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Man jailed for stabbing wife after row over flat tyre

PUBLISHED: 06:45 16 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:00 25 November 2019

Benjamin Hartley Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Benjamin Hartley Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

A Suffolk man who stabbed his wife in the head during a row about a flat tyre has been jailed for eight years and eight months.

Sentencing 39-year-old Benjamin Hartley, Judge Emma Peters said he had "plunged" a multi-tool into her head four times.

"Two of the blows penetrated her head resulting in a brain injury which required surgery to remove a blood clot," said the judge.

She said that as a result of the attack Mary Hartley had spent several months in hospital and had been left with ongoing physical issues as well as problems with her speech and vision.

"To plunge such a tool into your wife's head on four occasions is an extremely violent reaction to an every day occurrence of having a flat tyre and this is deeply troubling to the court," said Judge Peters.

Hartley, of Chester Street, Brandon admitted wounding Mrs Hartley with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm between August 1 and August 4 this year.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said that Mrs Hartley was a US national and had been planning to move back to Florida following her release from hospital.

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She had served in the USAF and was working as a civilian for the USAF in Germany when she visited her husband in the UK with their teenage daughter.

During the visit there was a row about a flat tyre which caused Mrs Hartley to miss her return flight and the couple had booked into temporary lodgings at RAF Lakenheath.

During the row Hartley had pinned his wife down on a sofa and used the multi-tool to stab her head repeatedly.

Mrs Hartley managed to escape and raised the alarm after running down a corridor.

She was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital with injuries including puncture wounds to her lip, forehead, ear and to the back of her neck.

Miriam Smith for Hartley described the incident as tragic not only for the victim of the attack but also for Hartley who had lost his family as a result of what happened.

She said the couple had been married for 13 years and he was remorseful for what he had done.

Miss Smith said Hartley was addressing his issues with alcohol and drugs and was currently waiting for the results of tests to see if he was at risk of developing Huntington disease.

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