Thug stabbed his girlfriend after supermarket row erupted over chocolate spread

A thug who stabbed his girlfriend after a row erupted over chocolate spread has been jailed and branded a danger.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 5:49 pm
Michael Appleby

Michael Appleby, 39, and his partner of a year fell out during a shopping trip with her family and he warned "if anyone bought the spread he would smash it on the ground" before he stormed off.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim went to her mother's for the rest of the day but was bombarded with messages from the brute, accusing her of being with another man, warning he would "teach her a ******* lesson", he would cut her throat, kill her and give her a "jaw breaker".

Prosecutor Helen Towers told the court Appleby was instructed to be out of the victim's home by the time she got back from her mum's.

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The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

But the court heard he had waited for her to arrive home and subjected her to a terrifying knife attack that has left her traumatised.

Miss Towers said: "She approached the front door and she could see a knife in his hand.

"He was angry, accused her of cheating on him and told her to get in the house.

"He then told her he was going to kill her.

"Once inside the house he demanded proof of where she had been and when she could not give it to him he hit her in the face.

"She went upstairs but he followed. He threw her on the bed and grabbed her neck.

"She pushed him off and went into the living room. He followed her again and hit her again, in the face.

"He followed her to the kitchen and began aggressively jabbing at her stomach with the knife. In doing so it caused pin prick marks to her stomach.

"He headbutted her.

"At one point he picked up another knife, so he had one in each hand.

"He stabbed the bench then stabbed her on the leg, just above the knee.

"She pushed him away and in doing so cut her hand."

The court heard Appleby continued to warn the woman he would kill her and threated to "stab her dog in the heart" before he punched her and caused a cut to her eye, which was bleeding.

Miss Towers said Appleby eventually agreed to let the woman go to hospital for treatment on the condition he went with her and she kept quiet about how she got her injuries.

Fortunately, Covid restrictions meant Appleby was not allowed into the building and she was able to tell a nurse what had happened to her.

The victim said she finds herself "looking over her shoulder in fear" even though a year has passed since the attack last August.

Appleby, of Sheraton, Leam Lane, Gateshead, denied assault but was found guilty after a trial, where he accused the victim of "telling a pack of lies".

The court heard he has previous convictions for violence against women and has stabbed a man in the past.

One female victim was attacked and headbutted outside a school in South Tyneside.

Annelise Haugstad, defending, said Appleby has issues with "distrust in domestic relationships" and mental health problems but has prospects of employment.

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Appleby to four years behind bars with a one year extended licence period and lifelong restraining order to protect his latest victim.

Judge Prince said Appleby is a "dangerous offender" and told him: "I am quite sure there is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm being occasioned by you through the commission of further specified offences.

"There was a significant degree of planning and premeditation, you were waiting at her house for her to return home.

"She was obviously vulnerable because of the circumstances of her being a female, alone in a property with you and you made use of a highly dangerous weapon to inflict injury on her, namely a knife."

Judge Prince told Appbleby the sentence was to "protect members of the public from serious harm being occasioned by you”.

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