Ex-soldier jailed for stabbing his wife and sister-in-law during ‘five minutes of sheer madness’
PUBLISHED: 13:20 20 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:22 20 November 2020
An ex-soldier has been jailed for eight years after stabbing his wife and sister-in-law in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Michael Dawson was told he must serve at least two-thirds of an eight-year jail term behind bars.
The 35-year-old was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday – the day after a jury convicted him of wounding Jenny Dawson and Laura Thrower with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
He had denied the charges but admitted a less serious charge of wounding without intent.
Dawson was nearly three times the drink-drive limit when he stabbed his wife in the neck with a kitchen knife in the bedroom of their Mill Lane home, in Felixstowe, on January 1.
Her sister, who had been babysitting and was asleep in another room, was woken by voices and found her sister bloodied and crouched over.
Mrs Thrower went downstairs after hearing the sound of rattling car keys and saw her brother-in-law standing by the open front door.
She told him not to drive, but he replied: “I’ve got a knife,” before putting his arm round her and stabbing her in the stomach.
Dawson drove off in his wife’s car, crashed it into a row of trees near a roundabout at the junction of Garrison Lane and Candlet Road, and ran off before giving himself up shortly afterwards.
The court heard he had earlier been asked to leave a nightclub for annoying people on the dance floor.
Giving evidence, Dawson said he could not recall what happened but accepted something must have triggered the double stabbing.
Nor could he recall a comment his wife had made about them “not making it through 2020”.
Mrs Dawson was found to have a 0.5cm wide wound in her neck, above her collarbone, while Mrs Thrower had a 2.5cm wide in her upper abdomen.
Lori Tucker, mitigating, said: “This was, let’s be blunt, five minutes of sheer madness, which has ruined his life and the lives of his family.
“He has always accepted responsibility for the act; the issue was his intent and lack of memory of events.”
She said Dawson had since been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of his experience in the army and had become a Samaritans ‘listener’, providing emotional support to other inmates in jail, where he had been remanded since January.
Judge David Goodin said Dawson’s time in the army – particularly on tour in Iraq – had undoubtedly left a scar on his mental health.
He said Mrs Dawson’s own statement of January 1 had suggested his actions were “beyond out-of-character”, adding: “Something caused you to snap.
“Your remorse, I have no doubt, is real. You are not a monster – and you will feel every day of the sentence I must pass.”
Upon release, Dawson will be subject to restraining orders preventing contact with both victims.
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