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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Cumbrian man jailed for kidnap and stabbing

A man from Carlisle has been jailed for 10 years for kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and then nearly killing the man he suspected of being her new boyfriend.

Adam Smith photo
Adam Smith, of Carlisle: Pleaded guilty to kidnap and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was jailed for 10 years

Adam Smith, 25, of Balfour Road, Raffles, kept Kayleigh Barnes imprisoned in her van for four hours as she drove him around looking for 23-year-old Nikki McHale last September.

He stopped her getting out, threatened to harm her and held a knife against her neck so hard that it cut the skin, prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said.

Then, when they arrived at McHale’s family home in Strawberry Bank, Scotby, Smith attacked him with the kitchen knife he had hidden in his trousers.

McHale “literally had to fight for his life” before Smith fled over a field, Mr Rogerson said.

Mr McHale lost nearly two litres of blood after the knife had penetrated his right cheek, passed through his throat and emerged through his neck on the other side.

The knife came within “a hair’s breadth” of severing a carotid artery inside his neck.

He spent the next three days in hospital and still needs surgery to repair the damage to his tongue and gums.

When a “distressed and crying” Smith gave himself up to the police soon afterwards he said: “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I did it.

“I haven’t killed him, have I?”

The court heard what happened after Smith returned from six months in Thailand and found that Ms Barnes, his girlfriend of seven years, had dumped him.

Smith pleaded guilty to kidnapping Ms Barnes and wounding McHale with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

In mitigation, defence barrister Keith Thomas said Smith had suffered psychological problems after being been “gravely affected” by the death of his grandfather two years before.

He said Smith bitterly regretted what he had done.

“If he could only turn the clock back he would,” he said.

Judge Peter Hughes QC told Smith Ms Barnes must have been “absolutely terrified” by his behaviour.

“She must have been in absolute fear, not knowing what you might do next,” he said.

And he told him he was lucky not to be in court for murder.

“It is only through good fortune that you didn’t kill him,” he said. “He owes his life to the fact that your knife just missed his artery and also to the skills of the surgeons and nursing staff at hospital.”

  • In December McHale was jailed for four years for killing his friend Billy Scott, 38, by losing control of his car and crashing into a tree on the Cumwhinton to Great Corby road.

He admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving.

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