Forgiven wife who stabbed husband jailed

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An angry wife who stabbed her husband of 27 years after he joked that he was seeing another woman has been jailed for 18 months, despite the fact that her husband had forgiven her.

Grandmother Margaret McKeown, 53, stabbed her husband John twice with a kitchen knife in the chest and upper arm, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Although his wounds were only superficial he needed stitches after being slashed by the 12cm long blade.

The court was told Mr McKeown had said he did not want his wife prosecuted.

She was initially charged with wounding with intent but later admitted a lesser charge of unlawful wounding.

David Wain, prosecuting, said Mr McKeown told police the couple had been drinking at their home in Canklow Road, Rotherham on July 2 last year when his wife “suddenly” lost her temper.

She got a kitchen knife and twice stabbed her husband but immediately became remorseful and called for an ambulance, expressing “considerable concern for his well-being”.

She told police where the knife was and she was arrested but made no further comment.

Dermot Hughes, defending, said it was a “very unusual case” and her actions were “momentary, spontaneous and it was in the face of extreme provocation”.

Mr Hughes said the couple’s lives revolved around drinking and custody for her would not address their underlying problems.

But Judge Alan Goldsack jailed her for 18 months, saying the use of knives to cause injury was a serious matter.

He said her drinking had been a serious problem for a number of years and although the couple’s relationship was strong her husband began talking about another woman which was “clearly a joke but you increasingly found it irritating”.

The judge said: “Both of you had been drinking and an argument began over his alleged infidelity. He was shouting at you and he was in your face.

“Your response was to pick up a kitchen knife and stab him twice not far from the heart.”

Judge Goldsack said he accepted she was remorseful and her husband did not want her jailed but courts had a public duty to perform where knives were used to cause injury which was a serious matter.

He added: “You clearly want your relationship to continue and I expect it will, but it is quite likely that in the next case I deal with the victim will be seeking revenge. Justice requires consistency and fairness.

“The use of the knife as a weapon is a seriously aggravating feature and in my judgment an immediate custodial sentence is the only possible outcome.”