Disgraced ex-Canary back in jail

DISGRACED footballer Peter Mendham is back behind bars after harassing the woman he almost killed in a frenzied knife attack.

DISGRACED footballer Peter Mendham is back behind bars after harassing the woman he almost killed in a frenzied knife attack.

The former Norwich City midfielder was released from Hollesley Bay prison, near Woodbridge, in August after being granted parole. He had served half of his five-year sentence for wounding with intent.

But yesterday it emerged that he has been recalled to prison after breaching the terms of his licence by attempting to contact his victim Charlotte Hyam within weeks of his release.

He had been banned from approaching Miss Hyam, who is still struggling to rebuild her life after the 49-year-old turned on her when she attempted to end their relationship.

Mendham could now be forced to see out the remainder of his sentence unless he can convince a fresh parole hearing that he is suitable for release.

The decision came to light as Miss Hyam appeared before Norwich magistrates on a drink-driving matter. Speaking publicly about her ordeal for the first time, she apologised for her behaviour but told how her life had been turned upside down by the attack.

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The 42-year-old, from Wymondham, said: “I have been going through a particularly difficult time over the last two years as I recovered from an incident in 2006.

“My attacker had recently been granted parole but had to be recalled to prison for attempting to contact me.

“I have experienced severe depression although until now I resisted taking medication despite the recommendation of my doctor. I am now on anti-depressants.”

Norfolk-born Mendham, who played more than 260 games for the Canaries between 1976 and 1987, admitted the attack when he appeared before Norwich Crown Court in February 2006.

He was originally sentenced to seven and a half years but this was reduced on appeal. A charge of attempted murder was dropped.

He had told Miss Hyam “we are both going to die tonight” after plunging a knife into her back in a case described as “one of the worst cases of domestic violence” Norfolk police have ever seen.

Mendham lashed out with a kitchen knife at his then home in Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, after Miss Hyam returned an engagement ring and said the relationship was no longer working.

Only an emergency operation saved her life and the court was told that “were it not for the extraordinary skill of surgeons” Mendham would have been charged with murder.

She suffered a severed artery in the attack and lost eight litres of blood through two wounds. Later she underwent an operation to remove a kidney.

Miss Hyam admitted driving while over the limit on September 6. She was banned from driving for 12 months, fined �485 and ordered to pay �85 in prosecution costs.

Chair of the bench Liz Scott said the court had no choice but to impose a disqualification but added: “It obviously required a great deal of courage on your part to talk to us today.”