Carer Jailed After Trying To Slash Woman’s Throat

A CARER who attacked his “vulnerable” charge with a knife has been jailed for four-and-a-half years. David Cuthbertson, 49, of Blackburn Road, Accrington, had intended to slash his long-term partner Eileen Fleming’s throat with the blade, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The defendant, who injured Mrs Fleming’s arm as she tried to defend herself, had previously assaulted her and broken windows. He was on a community order and had just completed a domestic violence programme at the time.

Cuthbertson, said to have led a “chaotic,” and disorderly life, had taken alcohol with his epilepsy medication before he assaulted the victim last November and knew it made him prone to aggression and losing his temper.

Mrs Fleming did not suffer extensive injury and did not go to hospital.

The defendant had earlier admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Cornwall, who decided Cuthbertson was not dangerous, said had the defendant succeeded in doing what he had planned the victim may have died or suffered extremely serious injury, probably resulting in some paralysis.

The judge said as the victim’s carer, Cuthbertson had breached her trust.

He said Mrs Fleming was terrified of the defendant and found him intimidating.

Judge Cornwall told the defendant, who had been on courses to address his bevahiour whilst on remand: “If you continue to drink, mixing alcohol with the medication you are taking for epilepsy there is undoubtedly a significant risk that you will act and behave violently towards Mrs Fleming and there is no saying what you might do.”

The court was told Mrs Fleming had visited Cuthbertson whilst he had been on remand in custody and had told him she was going to an assessment for rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse.

Peter Turner, defending, said Cuthbertson had shocked himself by what he did. He was still determined to assist Mrs Fleming at some point in the future and she wanted to help him.

In the past there had been the odd skirmish with the breaking of plates and windows but the level of violence in the offence was beyond anything that had happened before.

It had had a very salutory effect upon him and about his future behaviour.

Mr Turner added despite the fact Cuthbertson had successfully completed the domestic violence programme it did not prevent what happened last November.

The solicitor added: “The defendant is aghast at the enormity of what he has done and what could so easily have been the consequences of what he did.”