Knife attack man has sentence overturned

A JEALOUS boyfriend who left a pregnant Ipswich woman with disfiguring injuries following a knife attack has had his life sentence overturned on appeal.

A JEALOUS boyfriend who left a pregnant Ipswich woman with disfiguring injuries following a knife attack has had his life sentence overturned on appeal.

Frederick Kwaku Semanshia, 23, hacked girlfriend Cherise Flowers' ear off and slashed her face, hands and feet with a flick-knife after she ended their relationship.

Semanshia, of Nightingale Road, Portsmouth, admitted falsely imprisoning and intentionally wounding the 20-year-old at Wood Green Crown Court last year, where he was later sentenced to life imprisonment on August 7, 2007.

However, appeal court judges have now overturned that sentence and replaced it with an indefinite term of imprisonment for public protection.

The ruling means Semanshia can apply for parole after serving four years and nine months behind bars, although he will only be freed when the Parole Board is satisfied it is safe to do so.

Judge Peter Beaumont QC, sitting with Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Royce, said Semanshia, a student in Portsmouth, and Miss Flowers, from Ipswich, had been in a relationship for about a year, but it became strained after several months.

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She had travelled to see Semanshia and told him she had "had enough".

At her request, Semanshia drove Miss Flowers to London and, en route, detoured to a house. The pair then drove to an empty flat in North London, where Semanshia pushed Miss Flowers into the bathroom.

Judge Beaumont said: "He said he was going to do something to show her he was not messing about. He then produced a flick-knife and cut off a big part of her ear.”

He said Semanshia questioned Miss Flowers about who she had been seeing and, when she answered, slashed her face, her feet and hands.

Judge Beaumont said Semanshia eventually said he would drive Miss Flowers home, stopping to buy bandages on the way. At the first opportunity, Miss Flowers called the police.

She was taken to hospital where it was discovered she had lost 70 to 80 per cent of her ear.

She had 15 to 18 cuts on her face, 18 on her hand, including one which damaged a tendon on her little finger, and 12 cuts on her feet. She also suffered a miscarriage a few days after the attack, but this was not because of her ordeal.

Judge Beaumont said: "She is continuing plastic surgery and reconstruction of her severed ear.

"The attack has left her with disfiguring injuries on her face which have had a devastating effect on her social and working life."

Semanshia's lawyer, Martin McCarthy, argued Semanshia should not have been given the life sentence as he had never displayed violent tendencies before.

Allowing the appeal, Judge Beaumont said: "This court has come to the conclusion that the sentencing judge did fall into error in the route he took to the sentence.

"In these circumstances, this court is prepared to grant the application."

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