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Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Savage knife attacker gets life
Mark Oldfield
Oldfield was high on drugs and drink when he attacked Miss Cooper
A man who stabbed a woman nearly 30 times has been sentenced to life in prison by a court.

Mark Antony Oldfield, 32, from Devizes, Wiltshire, knifed ex-girlfriend Hayley Cooper 28 times, near Salisbury, on 14 September last year.

Salisbury Crown Court heard how Miss Cooper, 23, had to undergo life-saving surgery after the attack.

Some of the evidence in the court included digitally-created pictures depicting the extent of her wounds.


The court heard that the pair had been travelling around the country camping, begging for money in the day.

But Oldfield attacked Miss Cooper while high on drugs and drink on Salisbury Plain.

After stabbing her, he then tried to burn her, using an aerosol and a lighter, having previously head-butted her.

He then rang an ambulance and told Miss Cooper to say a group of travellers had been responsible, but police saw through the lies.

Hayley Cooper
He knew what he was doing that night
Hayley Cooper

At a press conference after the hearing, Miss Cooper said: "I could see the anger in his face. He knew what he was doing that night. I felt I was going to die. He missed my heart by millimetres."

The judge reduced Oldfield's minimum term from nine to six years to give credit for his guilty plea, but he will be subject to lifetime parole.

But with a discount for good behaviour and taking into consideration the 269 days he has been in custody since the attack, the court heard he could be considered for parole in just over two years.

Her new partner, George Topping, said: "I'm not happy with the sentence, the realistic sentence.

"He got what I see as a short sentence but Hayley has got a life sentence - his face is always going to be there."

Hayley Cooper speaks to reporters about her ordeal

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