Mum stabbed cheating boyfriend after discovering secret affair with her palFebruary 19, 2019
A mum who stabbed her boyfriend after discovering he was cheating on her with one of their friends has been jailed.
Rachel Tinsley, 33, twice plunged a kitchen knife into 34-year old labourer Mark Donnelly’s chest as they argued at their home in Warrington, Cheshire.
Mr Donnelly initially believed he had been punched during the 3am row – until Tinsley pulled the blade out of his body before stabbing him again in the shoulder.
Despite his wounds, Donnelly managed to ring 999 from a nearby phone box and was admitted to hospital.
He spent five days in hospital after suffering a punctured lung and also severe nerve damage to his hand when Tinsley slashed his thumb.
Police later arrested the trainee hairdresser at the couple’s flat on suspicion of attempted murder.
She initially told officers: "Has Mark called the police? Has he said I tried to kill him?" but later gave no comment in police interview.
At Chester Crown Court, Tinsley was charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but her guilty plea to the lesser charges on unlawful wounding was accepted and she was jailed for 20 months. The pair are now reconciled.
The court heard police had to intervene in previous violent arguments during the couple’s volatile relationship.
The latest incident occurred last October 30 after the pair had returned from a holiday to Majorca.
Prosecutor Simon Duncan, said: "It’s quite clear that this is a problematic relationship.
"The day before the incident, they spent the day together and then went their separate ways after a few drinks. She went to her friend’s house and Mr Donnelly came over later.
"While there, they began to argue until they were asked to leave.
"She went into Warrington town centre and he went home. She went to the flat in the early hours of the next morning.
"Mr Donnelly was awake and he had been drinking, and there was damage to a mirror and some of her clothes.
"An argument ensued and during this time, Mr Donnelly grabbed the defendant’s arms and was angry in his demeanour. They were in the kitchen and she pulled a knife out and stabbed him.
"He thought he had been punched in the chest until she pulled it out and then put it in his shoulder. He lifted his arm to stop further attacks and she cut his thumb.
"He then called the police and asked them for help. He said that he had been stabbed by his girlfriend and when the police arrived, he was drifting in and out of consciousness after losing blood.
"He went to Aintree hospital (in Liverpool) and was discharged a few days later. From the wound to his chest, he suffered a punctured lung.
"He also had V-shaped wound to his thumb and severed nerves and he was referred to a thumb therapist for rehabilitation.
Mr Donnelly initially refused to provide a statement but later said that the injuries affected his daily lifestyle and he struggles to do things like look for work.
He also said that it was out of character for her to do this.
The prosecutor said: "She was arrested and a knife was recovered at their home. It is 20cm in length and 2.5cm in width at its widest part.
"When she was arrested, she said ‘has Mark called the police? Has he said I tried to kill him?’"
Despite saying this, she gave a no comment interview.
The court heard Tinsley had a series of offences on her record, including an assault on Mr Donnelly in which she threw a food carton in his face during another row.
She has also had previous convictions for a hate crime after she used homophobic language to a transgender nurse.
Her lawyer Simeon Evans said: "This, in many ways, is a very sad case because Rachel Tinsley came from a background that would not indicate that she would end up here. Her mother holds a position of great responsibility which I won’t say in open court.
"Having met Mr Donnelly, it’s clear that their relationship has been difficult. There has been violence on both sides and he has been convicted for assaulting her.
"She has a daughter, but the girl’s father has – quite rightly some would say – become involved and she has now lost custody.
"She has also lost her accommodation so the only option available to her was to live with Mark Donnelly in his flat.
"He had access to her bank cards and helped himself to money from her account. Rachel Tinsley has felt that she had nowhere else to go and he has made frequent threats to kick her out.
"On the night in question, they were arguing about an affair he was having with somebody who she thought was her friend.
"She came home and foolishly lashed out in the way that she did.
"She hasn’t tried to over-egg the pudding by using the grabbing of her arms as a defence – which technically is an assault."
Sentencing, Judge Louise Brandon said: "On the night in question, after a night of heavy drinking, you returned to your flat to find Mark Donnelly drinking.
"An argument began as some damage had been done to your property and, in the course of that argument, he became aggressive and grabbed your arms. You were in the kitchen and you stabbed him with a knife.
"It’s clear from what I have read in his letter that this is a volatile relationship and you were encouraged not to live with him due to the domestic violence, and it’s regrettable that you did not take that advice.
"I take into consideration that you found out that Mr Donnelly had been having an affair just before the incident – but you seem keen to rekindle this relationship with him even though it has been destructive for you and your daughter.
"If you do resume this relationship, you are likely to destroy all the good you have done since then."
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