A Stonehouse man who stabbed his girlfriend in the chest while drunk was jailed for three years at Gloucester Crown Court yesterday.

Intoxicated by strong lager, a verbally abusive Neil Carter, 57, of Juniper Way, Stonehouse, turned off the lights in the lounge where his partner was sitting before attacking her with a knife on December 21, the court heard.

Mr Carter, who pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding the woman, wounded her fingers and throat as she tried to protect her face, before drawing blood from her chest, said Ieuan Callaghan, prosecuting.

“The injuries have left me struggling to walk my dog. I am scared to go out,” said the victim in court.

“Home is where I am supposed to feel safe. I don’t feel safe any longer and feel the need to move as soon as I can, away from the memories and the pain.”

The court heard Mr Carter was abusive towards his partner several times in their year-long relationship before the attack and had several previous convictions for battery arising from assaults on domestic partners.

The couple had been drinking the day of the incident, when Mr Carter became verbally abusive and punched his girlfriend in the face after she asked him to sit further away from her, Mr Callaghan told the court for the prosecution.

Mr Carter then left the room and fetched a knife from the kitchen and attacked her, Mr Callaghan said.

The court heard that after neighbours intervened in the struggle, the victim was taken to hospital and treated for lacerations to her chest and neck, cuts to her right eye and defensive wounds on her hand.

Lloyd Jenkins, defending, said: “Carter has a habit of trying to grab his partners by the throat. He has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“He states that it was the drowning of a friend in the River Severn last October that sent him on a downward spiral. Carter says that he is a drinker, but on this occasion he was drinking lager many times stronger than he is used to.”

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said “He [Mr Carter] has scant regard for his female partners. In this instance he could have stabbed her in the heart. It is obvious he has not learnt his lessons from his previous offending.”

The judge sentenced Mr Carter to three years in prison and imposed a five-year restraining order. He also ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £190.