Brighton man left ex-partner for dead

Christopher Woolven, 39, of Marine Drive Brighton was jailed for 14 years for attempted murder.
Christopher Woolven, 39, of Marine Drive Brighton was jailed for 14 years for attempted murder.

A Brighton man who left his ex-girlfriend for dead after a 'cold and callous' knife attack has been jailed for 14 years.

Christoper Lee Woolven, 39, a road sweeper of Marine Parade was jailed for the attempted murder of his 23-year-old former girlfriend Danielle Morrison, when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (October 20).

The court heard how Miss Morrison had arranged with Woolven to collect some things his flat in Marine Parade on August 2 this year, after the couple split up some weeks before. As soon as she entered the flat she was attacked by Woolven.

Prosecution barrister Richard Barton said: "He did not say anything but rushed at her brandishing a kitchen knife. He stabbed her in the stomach and stabbed her repeatedly. A neighbor said they heard a female voice shouting 'get off me, get off me' and the sound of a man grunting. He did not say anything during the attack."

The court heard how Woolven stabbed Miss Morrison 14 times before he fled the scene, leaving his victim with serious wounds to her face, arm, leg and stomach. Miraculously Miss Morrison remained conscious and was able to call 999 once Woolven had left at around 3.14pm.

Around 10 minutes after the 999 call, Woolven handed himself into John Street Police Station, where he was arrested for attempted murder, GBH with intent and possession of a weapon. He was later charged and pleaded guilty to the offence at the earliest opportunity when appearing at Hove Crown Court on August 24.

At the sentencing hearing at Lewes Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Gold said: "Your relationship with Danielle Morrison had broken down. She had made it clear she wanted the relationship to come to an end.

"The reality of this case is that you planned to kill her on what I consider a 'if I can't have her, no one can basis'."

Judge Gold sentenced Woolven to 14 years in prison with a five-year extended licence period. He was also given an indefinite restraining order preventing him from ever contacting Miss Morrison or her family.

Speaking after the sentencing, Miss Morrison said: "When I went to collect my belongings, I would never of thought someone who I was with for seven years was capable of something like this, especially someone who claimed they 'loved me.' I was so scared of not being able to escape and never see my family again.

"I have mental and physical scars as well as losing all my confidence, I constantly fear the worst when I go out now. I just hope after this sentencing I can try and move on with my life and focus of my future. It's going to take a long time to get over what has happened to me but with my family and friends support I will overcome this."

Investigating officer Detective Constable Leon Ryan said: "Woolven attacked his former girlfriend, Danielle, in a cold and callous attack without saying a word to her. He couldn't cope that she had broken up with him and reacted by trying to kill her. She will be left with permanent scars, both physical and mental, because of Woolven.

"She was stabbed 14 times effectively leaving her for dead, inflicting grave injuries including a punctured diaphragm. Miraculously she recovered from the physical effects but the psychological effects will be long-standing."