Leeds crazed knifeman attack

Leslie Cunningham.
Leslie Cunningham.
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A paranoid and jealous boyfriend carried out a frenzied knife attack on his girlfriend and her mother in their own home after a drink and drug binge.

Leslie Cunningham, 40, was jailed indefinitely yesterday after admitting two offences of attempted murder.

Angela Gardner, 57, has been left wheelchair bound and almost bled to death in the attack at the house on Bar Lane, Garforth.

Daughter Stephanie, 25, survived after pretending to be dead as Cunningham stabbed her repeatedly.

Angela was saved after she dragged herself outside and was spotted by an off-duty doctor and two nurses on their way to work.

Cunningham was “besotted” with Stephanie and carried out the attack when after she ended the relationship after suffering month of violent abuse. He fled after the attack on August 2 last year before giving himself up after a 16-day manhunt.

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier QC jailed Cunningham indefinitely, saying he posed a significant future risk to the public . He must serve a minimum of 12-and-a-half years before he can apply for parole.

After the sentencing, Angela and Stephanie said: “Leslie Cunningham has destroyed our family’s lives.

“He has given us a life sentence of psychological trauma as a result of his possessive and violent nature.

“We both have trouble sleeping, we find it difficult to go out and socialise and we had jobs and responsibilities that we can no longer fulfil.

“Our lives will never be the same again. The injuries he inflicted upon us, both physically and mentally, will never fully heal and we will always have a constant reminder of that horrific morning.”

Richard Clews, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court Cunningham met Stephanie in summer 2010 at a event the local cricket club in Garforth.

They started a relationship which soon began to turn sour as Cunningham became jealous and controlling. He objected to her spending time with others, accused her of cheating on him and turned violent after abusing cocaine.

On one occasion he beat up one of her ex-boyfriends and on another, in April last year, he repeatedly punched her and banged her head against her car windscreen before spitting in her face.

The physical and mental abuse resulted in Stephanie taking an overdose of valium. Cunningham also sent threatening text massages to mother on daughter.

He text Angela saying that if he found Stephanie with another man he would slit both their throats,

Stephanie found the courage to end the relationship after Cunningham was arrested for another attack on her. After he was taken into custody she found a message on a mobile phone and discovered he was also in a relationship with another woman.

Cunningham carried out the horrific stabbing three days after sending her text which read: “Can’t believe you have done this. you don’t know what you have caused.”

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