A man who couldn’t handle his partner winning £5.5 million on the National Lottery and then tried to kill her has been jailed for 18 years.
Stephen Gibbs, 45, knifed Emma Brown seven times in the face at their home in Barry, South Wales, when she tried to end their relationship.
The couple’s relationship had deteriorated after she won the multimillion-pound sum in 2017, a court heard.
Gibbs became increasingly paranoid and controlling of his ‘outgoing’ partner, and after the attack it was discovered he had fitted a tracking device to her car.
During the ferocious attack, he broke Ms Brown’s arm and nose and left her lying in a pool of blood believing he had murdered her.
She survived, but was left with sight loss in one eye and says she struggles to believe she can trust someone else, and her confidence has been destroyed.
The defendant initially denied attempted murder, but changed his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial in September.
He had previously been jailed for six years for stabbing a former partner’s 11-year-old son six times with a kitchen knife.
At his sentencing hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Monday, Prosecutor Ieuan Bennett said: ‘The victim started dating the defendant in 2010.
‘The dynamics of the relationship changed permanently when in 2017 she had the good fortune of winning the National Lottery and in fact won a considerable amount of money.’
Mr Bennett said: ‘It seems the defendant had more of an issue of her being in control of her own life.’
He continued: ‘She had dreams of travelling the world but due to the fact the defendant didn’t like travelling abroad she never realised these dreams, and that must have caused some difficulties with their relationship.’
The court heard Ms Brown, then 49, owned the home she and Gibbs lived in, as well as a number of other properties in the surrounding area.
The prosecutor said Gibbs had been increasingly paranoid about Ms Brown’s relationship with an old school friend who was a tenant in one of her properties, and had once threatened to cut the man’s throat.
On the night of the attack, Ms Brown had driven to the home of her cleaner to deliver a birthday card, returning at around 8pm, but the defendant accused her of visiting the male tenant.
It was at that point she told Gibbs the relationship was at an end, prompting him to lose his temper and slam her against a wall.
Ms Brown remembered Gibbs choking her, dragging her outside and returning with a large kitchen knife.
He initially threatened to slit his own throat before straddling her and knifing her seven times to the face.
The victim was later found in a pool of blood by a neighbour who called an ambulance.
Ms Brown suffered multiple lacerations to her face, a fractured arm, bruising to her body, has partially lost the sight in her right eye, and only has very limited sensation in her face.
Gibbs fled the scene in his car, later calling a friend and telling her: ‘I’ve done something stupid, I’ve stabbed Emma – I found out she’d been messing around, cheating on me – I lost it and stabbed her in the face.’
He told her he had taken a lot of pills and was feeling drowsy, adding: ‘I think I’ve killed her.’
In a victim impact statement, Ms Brown said Gibbs had never previously been violent to her and she had suffered a huge loss of confidence in the wake of the attack.
She said she now struggles to socialise, adding: ‘It has completely ruined my self-confidence, I am also suffering from self-doubt because I trusted him.
‘We were together for years and I can’t believe he was able to deceive me, I never thought he would do something like this but he did and I can’t even contemplate opening myself up to trust someone else.’
Police later found the tracking device fitted to the victim’s car.
Jailing Gibbs for 18 years, Judge Richard Twomlow said: ‘(This offence) has a number of aggravating features – being in the victim’s own home, the fact you simply left her there and drove away, and your previous convictions for similar behaviour.
‘I am also of the view that because of your previous convictions of this type you pose a serious risk of further harm.’
Gibbs was told that he must serve two-thirds of his sentence in custody, instead of the usual half, and would serve an additional licence period of five years.