Wife stabbed husband in 'moment of madness', court told

Ipswich Crown Court

Melanie Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk woman who stabbed her estranged husband with a kitchen knife in a “moment of madness” has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Brinley Hart was sitting in his work van with a colleague at a farm at around lunchtime when Melanie Hart pulled up in her van and thrust a knife towards his face, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The knife struck his glasses causing a small cut to his cheek and she also caused small cuts to his collarbone and upper arm, said Hugh Vass, prosecuting.

During the attack Hart was calling her former husband names and he managed to get the knife from her.

However, Hart walked round to the passenger door and had picked up the knife again and had hit the driver’s window with it, said Mr Vass.

Hart was subsequently arrested at her home and told police the kitchen knife was in the glove compartment of her van.

The court heard she had been upset and angry with her estranged husband and had earlier left a note on his van expressing her views.

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Hart, 60, of Brettenham Road, Rattlesden, admitted assaulting Mr Hart causing him actual bodily harm and possessing a knife on October 28 last year.

She denied a charge of attempted wounding and Mr Vass offered no evidence on this charge.

Sentencing her to a 24-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, Judge Emma Peters said Hart had lost her self control and had acted in “a moment of madness.”

In addition to the suspended sentence she was ordered to do 60 hours' unpaid work and was given a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 25 days.

She was also banned from contacting her former husband for two years and ordered to pay £300 costs.

Steven Dyble for Hart said she was a landscape gardener and had no previous convictions.

He said raw emotion had taken over on the day in question and she hadn’t been thinking rationally.

He said the injuries she had caused were  superficial but accepted the offences crossed the custody threshold.

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