A VIOLENT boyfriend left his girlfriend for dead after subjecting her to a frenzied knife attack in front of horrified neighbours.

Matthew Ryan, 39, carried out the motiveless attack after he had pursued his then partner out of her home in Ellesmere Way, Morton, stabbing her 11 times when she stumbled and fell.

Minutes later, as she lay gravely injured on the street, Ryan returned to the scene and smoked a cigarette while watching her. He then calmly drove away from the scene, making no attempt to help his victim.

One neighbour who saw the terrifying attack later told police: “The thing I can’t get out of my head was the frown on his face and the evilness.

“And he had no mercy on it. He didn’t stop; he just kept looking at her and carrying on and she was terrified. She was frightened - you could see she was frightened.”

Ryan later pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

At Carlisle Crown Court, prosecutor Brendan Burke described how Ryan carried out the attack on December 17 last year after returning from a trip to Newcastle, when he and family members had planned to watch a football game.

His victim, a woman in her 50s, had planned to scatter the ashes of a previous partner at St James’ Park, given that he had been a Newcastle United fan.

At the time, Ryan and the woman had been in a relationship for a year. While in Newcastle, his brother became worried at the way Ryan was drinking too heavily.

An argument developed and Ryan stormed off.

During the return journey to Carlisle, the court heard, Ryan – despite having taken drugs and alcohol – insisted on driving. He was aggressive towards his partner, at one point deliberately swerving towards oncoming cars.

An alarmed motorist who called the police at one point said: “‘Oh my God, he’s going to kill somebody’.

After the couple arrived back at the victim’s flat in Ellesmere Way, Morton, Ryan continued to be aggressive. When his partner made him a cup of tea, he responded by pouring it over her head.

Mr Burke said: “She was pursued by the defendant with the knife in his hand. She ran down the pathway, and across the road chased by the defendant with the knife  in  his  hand. 

“As  she  ran  down  the  pathway  and  across  the  road  the defendant lashed out at her in a stabbing motion.

“It’s not clear whether he succeeded in stabbing her at this point. However, as she reached the kerb on the opposite side of the road she stumbled and fell to the ground. She was now completely defenceless.”

CCTV images showed Ryan stabbing the woman 11 times.

After he left the scene, neighbours rushed to help her and she had to be airlifted to hospital in Newcastle, where she underwent life-saving surgery. She has been left with medical complications and pain, the court heard.

In an impact  statement, she said she said her suffering has been such that she had wished Ryan had succeeded in killing her. But she said she was determined to keep fighting to recover.

Kim Whittlestsone, defending, said Ryan had shown genuine remorse and insight into his offending. Diagnosed with personality disorder, he was now cooperating with medical practitioners.

Judge Nicholas Barker said was remarkable that the victim had survived Ryan’s attack. He quoted a female neighbour who saw what happened and later helped the victim.

The woman said: “I was terrified because I knew that this was so horrific. I was frightened that she was dead. It was like watching something on TV.”

Judge Barker said he agreed with the assessment of probation staff and a psychiatrist that Ryan, who showed no emotion as he was sentenced, posed a danger to the public.

He jailed him for life, specifying that Ryan’s minimum term is 22 years, though he will be eligible to apply for parole after serving two thirds of that term, estimated to be 15 years.  

As Ryan was led away from the dock, a relative of the victim in the public gallery shouted the word: “Scumbag.”

After the case, Tom Snape, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “Matthew Ryan carried out a frenzied knife attack on a woman as she lay defenceless on the floor. He did so in broad daylight in full view of anyone who was on the street at the time.

"He inflicted numerous wounds upon her, resulting in her undergoing lifesaving surgery; the long-term effects of those injuries may not be known for some time. Our thoughts are with her and all those affected by the attack at this time.   

“Violence against women and girls has no place in our society. The CPS are dedicated to bringing perpetrators of domestic abuse and knife crime to justice.”