Mum stabbed boyfriend because he texted ‘happy birthday’ instead of calling

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A mother-of-two who stabbed her boyfriend and left him for dead because he texted her to say ‘Happy Birthday’ instead of calling has been jailed for six years.

Janet Kearns assumed Alan Pearce was cheating and flew into a rage. After replying ‘thank you’ to his message she stormed around to his third-floor flat in Wythenshawe, Manchester, on her 46th birthday on May 4 last year.

After arguing the pair began grappling with each other and the row spilled out into the hallway where Mr Pearce tried calling the police. While he did so, Kearns went back inside and grabbed a six-inch kitchen knife which she plunged into his arm as he was on the phone.

She then stood by calmly as blood poured from a severed artery. Mr Pearce only survived the attack thanks to life-saving surgery after he was rushed to hospital.

Kearns, now 47, from Withington, admitted GBH with intent at Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Pearce, who is in his 60s, had to undergo plastic surgery to repair the deep wounds and still has trouble moving his right hand a year on.

In a statement he told police: ‘That day is a day I will never forget. When I was lying on the lobby floor losing blood and getting weaker by the minute, I thought I might die.

‘If it was not for the quick response of police officers and paramedics I would not be here today. I will always be grateful to them.

‘I try not to think about what happened. How could she be so callous just walking past me as I was on the floor bleeding to death?’

The court heard how the couple met through work in May 2017 and quickly became friends before starting a relationship after a few weeks.

Prosecutor Brian Berlyne said. ‘The relationship began to develop and the defendant stayed at the flat occasionally and he eventually gave her a spare key. But in August 2017 he first noticed her becoming aggressive at times and she suspected him of being unfaithful. She struck his face but he did not report this to police.

‘Over the next year her behaviour became erratic. She became aggressive over trivial matters and she claimed he did not give her enough attention and on some occasions she used or threatened to use violence against him.

‘She damaged or destroyed his belongings and at one point he threatened to call police but she said “you will be dead before they get here”.

The prosecutor said Mr Pearce ‘became unhappy with the relationship but decided to continue with it in the hope it would improve’.

Things ‘got even worse’ by April last year and on May 3 he told Kearns that ‘would be the last weekend of the relationship’.

He messaged her the following morning wishing her ‘Happy Birthday’ at around 8am.

Kearns sent her reply three hours later and went to Mr Pearce’s flat shortly after 1.30pm to ask why he had not called.

Mr Berlyne said: ‘She was speaking in an aggressive manner, and they began to grapple with each other. She tried to pick up her flat key to throw in his face and knocked over a plant pot.

‘He then told her he would call police but as he began looking for his mobile, she grabbed it from the sofa and hurled it against the wall on the hallway. He then tried to use the landline but she threw it at the wall too.

‘He said he would ask a neighbour to call police but although she blocked his path he managed to push past her picked up the mobile began calling police outside.

‘She followed him but then returned to the flat where she took a knife and attacked the complainant in the lobby while he was on the phone to police. He was holding his mobile in his left hand and his right arm was stretched out in attempt to try and stop her from grabbing the phone off him.

‘He then felt something being drawn across the inside of his right arm near his elbow. He was bleeding and she was holding the knife but he managed to tell the operator to get an ambulance.’

The prosecutor added: ‘She must have seen that the complainant had lost a substantial amount of blood and he could feel the blood continuing to pump out of his arm and realised his artery was severed.

‘He felt faint and unable to stand, and then he sank onto his knees. The complainant saw her looking at him and felt she wanted him to die.

‘Despite the fact she saw there was a large pool of blood by now, she offered him no help. There was no attempt to summon help.’

Defending, Ben Kaufman said it had been ‘a spur of the moment’ attack triggered by the row.

But Judge Hilary Manley told Kearns her relationship ‘was marred by jealousy’.

She added: ‘It is your good fortune that he survived and police and emergency services were able to get to the scene. If they had not you could have been facing a murder charge.’