Jail for possessive ex who tried to murder former partner in Leeds

Neil Wilson, jailed for attempting to murder Laura Fitzgerald, below
Neil Wilson, jailed for attempting to murder Laura Fitzgerald, below
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A possessive ex-boyfriend who left his former partner for dead after a frenzied knife attack has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years.

Van driver Neil Wilson, 37, attempted to murder Laura Fitzgerald with a kitchen knife in her Whinmoor home after she refused to get back with him.

Laura Fitzgerald

Laura Fitzgerald

Leeds Crown Court heard the 26-year-old may never fully recover from her injuries.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC told Wilson, of Ashfield Terrace, Swarcliffe: “She will never forget what you did to her that night and it will spoil her life forever.”

The court heard Wilson had a history of domestic violence against his ex-wife before getting together with Miss Fitzgerald.

On one occasion during the latter relationship he dragged Miss Fitzgerald out of bed by her hair because he disliked the way she had draped the duvet. On another, during a brief separation, he slashed her tyres.

Tony Kelbrick, prosecuting, said the couple broke up earlier this year after Miss Fitzgerald became unwilling to “submit to his controlling ways, temper and violence”.

Wilson later slashed her tyres again but then told friends: “I might as well have stabbed her.”

On June 8, Wilson turned up at Miss Fitzgerald’s mother’s home, in Naburn Place, Whinmoor, where she had moved after their separation, demanding to know if their relationship was over.

When he returned a second time she threatened to call police, but he barged in, cut the phone line and attacked her in the kitchen.

After dragging her around by the hair and punching and kicking her in the face, he pulled a kitchen knife from a block and stabbed her in the hands, arms, neck and chest.

Wilson then calmly left the house and walked back to his parents’ home in Swarcliffe.

Neighbours Gareth Smith and Michelle Rowley ran to Miss Fitzgerald’s aid after hearing her screams and stemmed the bleeding until paramedics arrived.

Mr Kelbrick said: “It’s undoubtedly the case that their actions saved her life.”

Wilson ran off after his parents called police and was later found, wearing just his underpants, hiding in a bin.

Former pharmacy worker Miss Fitzgerald had to have seven hours of surgery and was in hospital for 16 days. She still requires daily care and is surviving on benefits.

Mr Kelbrick added: “Her life has changed in every conceivable way. From being an independent, hard-working and physically able woman to someone who has to rely on others for her daily living.”

The judge told Wilson: “The consequences for her will continue long after you are released.”

Det Supt Jon Morgan, of West Yorkshire Police, said Wilson’s “shockingly violent attack” could easily have killed Miss Fitzgerald. “It was only through good fortune that the stab wounds he inflicted on her missed her major arteries and she survived the attack,” he said.

“Wilson is clearly someone who is prepared to use violence in a relationship and we welcome the significant sentence he has received.”

“We would also like to take this opportunity to encourage victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence. Help is available from police safeguarding units who work closely with our partner agencies to support and protect victims and bring offenders to justice.”

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