A man has been found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison for attacking his ex-partner in a street in Dunstable last November.
Andrew Clifton, 53, of High Street South, Dunstable, was sentenced today (Friday) at Luton Crown Court, after being found guilty by unanimous jury verdict, of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
During the trial, the court heard how the attack could have been substantially worse were it not for the interventions of a member of the public and an off duty police officer.
On Tuesday 13 November, Clifton, armed with a large kitchen knife, tried to gain entry to his former home and launched a ferocious attack on his former partner.
A neighbour heard the commotion and tried to intervene by grappling with Clifton. Meanwhile an off-duty police officer, returning home after work, also heard the breaking glass and screaming. Grabbing his handcuffs and calling 999, he identified himself as a police officer, and restrained Clifton.
Judge Steven Evans commended the actions of both the member of the public and the off-duty officer for their intervention.
Detective Constable Natalie Miller, who investigated the incident, said: “Clifton’s attack was truly terrifying, and it’s only thanks to the involvement by the member of the public and the off-duty officer that this incident was stopped without further injury, or worse.
“The level of violence exhibited by Clifton was horrendous and is utterly deplorable, as is shown by the gravity of the sentence handed down to him today.
“We are dedicated to supporting and protecting victims of domestic violence and bringing offenders like Clifton to justice.
“There is no excuse for domestic abuse or violence. If you have concerns, or you fear for someone else’s safety, please get in touch.”
The off duty officer said: “This woman was in extreme distress and I feared for her safety. It was clear that she was being subjected to serious violence. I had to intervene before the situation escalated further, but I am trained to do that.
“If faced with a violent situation, it’s important to never lose sight of the fact that your personal safety is the most important thing.
“Trust your instincts and if you think a situation is getting worse, try not to get involved.”
Clifton also received concurrent sentences of one month for common assault on the member of the public, eight months for breach of a restraining order, and three months for criminal damage.
He was also issued with a restraining order for life.
For advice about domestic abuse, visit the force’s website, where there is information and details of partner agencies who can find the right help for you.