Stab victim had to have part of his finger amputated after knife attack by jealous friend during fight over woman

A man suffered serious stab wounds to his hand after being attacked by his friend in a fit of jealousy over a woman.

By Tony Gardner
Sunday, 5th July 2020, 6:00 am

James Coggan carried out the assault after finding the victim in a car with his former girlfriend.

Leeds Crown Court heard Coggan armed himself with a knife and a crowbar after discovering his ex-partner and friend were in the vehicle close to his home in Wetherby.

Sue Evans prosecuting, said Coggan and the woman had been in a relationship which broke down earlier this year.

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Leeds Crown Court

The court heard Coggan and the woman continued to live together due to the coronavirus pandemic despite breaking up.

The woman ended the relationship on April 6 and they separated.

Coggan received text messages on April 13 that his former partner and friend were together in a car down the street from his home.

Ms Evans said Coggan armed himself with a knife and a crowbar and went to confront them.

The defendant struck the vehicle with the crowbar and smashed the window before jabbing the knife towards his friend.

The victim grabbed the blade of the weapon with his hand to defend himself and suffered serious wounds.

Coggan then chased after his ex-girlfriend and asked her not to call the police.

He elbowed her to the stomach during a struggle

Police were contacted and arrested Coggan as he tried to speak to his friend.

The court heard the victim suffered serious cuts to his thumb, middle finger and little finger.

The top of his little finger had to be amputated which may hinder his work as a carer.

Coggan, 23, of Freemans Way, Wetherby, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding, possessing a bladed article and battery.

He has previous convictions including breaching a restraining order by contacting a former partner.

Rupert Doswell, mitigating, said Coggan was suffering from depression at the time of the offence.

Mr Doswell handed letters of reference to the court speaking of his client's good character.

The barrister said Coggan and the woman are now back together in a relationship.

Coggan, who appeared in court via a video link from HMP Doncaster, has been in custody since his arrest.

Judge Christopher Batty said he wanted more information about the defendant before sentencing and asked for a further probation service report.

The judge said: "He is a young man who is extremely well thought of and comes from an extremely loving and supportive background and appears to have reconciled with (the woman), who is in court.

"He has got a problem when relationships he is in go wrong - he kicks off.

"He is a very jealous young man."

Judge Batty told Coggan: "I am not sure what to do with you.

"I like much of what I have read about you but I do not like anything about your actions that night.

"I want to know more about what is going with you and, in particular, anything that can be done with you."

"I take the view that this is 16 months imprisonment.

"The choice for me is do I give you that now or do I wait four weeks?

"There is undoubtedly a good side to you.

"Your offending arises out of your conduct when relationships break down."