Jealous Leeds husband jailed for attack on neighbour

Sean Cunningham.
Sean Cunningham.

A man subjected his neighbour to a horrifying knife attack after suspecting him of having an affair with his wife.

Nicholas Crabbe was left with gaping slash wounds to his face and neck during the “jealous and paranoid” assault by Sean Cunningham.

A court heard Cunningham followed Mr Crabbe to the toilets at the Irish Centre, York Road, Leeds, where both men were enjoying a night out.

Cunningham punched the victim before slashing him several times with the weapon in a sustained attack in the early hours on February 1 this year.

Michael Collins, prosecuting, said one of the wounds was close to Mr Crabbe’s eye.

Leeds Crown Court heard Cunningham’s wife of 33 years had recently left him and his behaviour towards Mr Crabbe had changed. Mr Collins said: “There had been a number of occasions where there had been conflict and the defendant had accused Mr Crabbe of sleeping with the defendant’s estranged wife.

Earlier in the evening the pair had fought with each other as they smoked outside but members of the public had separated them.

Mr Crabbe suffered extensive injuries and needed hospital treatment to have the slash wounds stitched.

Cunningham, of Skelton Road, Osmondthorpe, Leeds, was arrested but refused to comment during police interview. He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent

Lindsey Lobley, mitigating, said Cunningham had been friends with Mr Crabbe for 13 years before the attack and was devastated over the injuries he had caused him. Miss Lobley added: “He felt that his wife had been unfaithful to him and that had been the cause of the disagreement with his neighbour.”

The lawyer said Cunningham had a successful groundwork business but he would now lose his livelihood as a result of the conviction.

Cunningham was jailed for four years, eight months.

Judge Peter Benson said: “You got it in to your head that he was having an affair with your estranged wife

“It is clear to me that feelings of jealousy, some might say paranoia, built up inside you.”

He added: “It is a miracle he did not lose his sight.

“This was a period in your life when you got it into a state and behaved in this completely 
unacceptable and outrageous way.

“It is fortunate that the injuries are not more serious then they are.”

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