Two men were today starting life sentences for murder in separate domestic violence cases with tragic similarities.
Stephen Maynard, 54, was jailed for a minimum of 14 years for the murder of Gail Lucas, 51, in Chapeltown, Leeds.
He stabbed her to death with the knife she carried to protect herself from him.
Meanwhile “violent bully” Aseeb Rahman was locked up for stabbing his partner Asma Begum to death in Gipton because she complained about his drinking.
As the pair were sentenced, domestic violence campaigners urged other victims not to suffer in silence over Christmas.
Partner murdered with own knife
A domestic abuse victim was brutally stabbed to death by her violent partner with a knife she carried with her for her own protection against him.
Gail Lucas, 51, suffered horrific slash injuries to her throat as she fought to defend herself in the driver’s seat of her car during the attack by long-term partner Stephen Maynard.
In the months before the attack Ms Lucas had been moved to a safe house as Maynard continued to ignore injunctions and court orders designed to stop him from approaching or threatening her.
Maynard was given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum of 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder.
Leeds Crown Court heard the couple had been together since the 1980s and have two grown up children but Ms Lucas ended the relationship in 2011 due to Maynard’s continued violence towards her.
Neil Davey, QC, said the attack happened in the early hours of August 4 this year after Mrs Lucas had been to a party and drove to Maynard’s home on Mexborough Grove, Chapeltown, Leeds. The court heard Mrs Lucas was in the habit of carrying a small craft knife with her to protect herself from Maynard.
The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier QC, said: “It is likely that at some point in order to protect herself she drew the knife which you then seized from her and turned on her with savage and lethal effect.
After the case, Det Insp Jon Morgan, of West Yorkshire Police said: “Maynard inflicted very severe injuries on Gail Lucas in a sustained attack as she sat her car and then left her there. A member of the public found her and called an ambulance but, despite medical treatment, she died ten days later in hospital.
“Although the specific motive for the attack remains unknown, Maynard was her ex-partner and there was a long history of domestic violence, abuse and harassment. Gail was a mother of three and her family are understandably distraught at her sudden death in such violent circumstances.”
Girlfriend bled to death in attack by ‘violent bully’
A young woman bled to death after being stabbed in the leg by her partner after he became tired of her complaining about him going out drinking.
Police described Aseeb Rahman as a ‘violent bully’ after he was found guilty and jailed for life for murdering girlfriend Asma Begum at their home in Leeds.
Rahman, 24, made a 999 call after the attack at the flat on Thorn Crescent, Gipton, Leeds, and suggested an intruder was to blame for causing her injuries.
He later claimed that he used the weapon in self defence fearing Miss Begum, 21, would attack him as they rowed. Mr Justice Keith told Rahman he must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison.
He said: “The jury saw through your claim that she impaled herself accidentally on the knife you were holding.
“The truth is that you simply had had enough of her going on at you for going out that evening, for leaving her alone and returning home the worse for drink and telling her about the time you had spent at the home of a young woman.”
The judge added: “Asma Begum was killed in her own home, you killed her with a knife and, most important of all, your killing of her was the culmination of domestic violence towards her.
“I watched you give evidence at your trial, you displayed all the hallmarks of a man who bullies his partner.”
Miss Begum was alive when paramedics arrived at the flat on the evening of June 19 this year but could not be saved despite surgery and died in hospital the next day.
Det Supt Scott Wood, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Rahman is a violent bully with an appalling attitude towards women.
“On the night that he killed Asma he gatecrashed a house party and assaulted two women in an unprovoked attack.
“He was drunk and in a foul and violent mood when he visited Asma’s home and argued with her before stabbing her and fatally wounding her.
“He is a controlling and manipulative individual who has freely admitted being violent towards Asma over a number of years.”