Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 15:51 UK

Wife avoids jail over stab attack

Edinburgh Sheriff Court
The court heard the couple were now back together

An Edinburgh woman who repeatedly stabbed her husband in the chest, leaving him with a collapsed lung, has avoided a prison sentence.

Victoria Walsh, 41, had previously pleaded guilty to assaulting husband James to the danger of his life.

She was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to 18 months on probation and 240 hours of community service.

The court heard how Mr Walsh told police his wife was a "great mum" and the couple were now back together.

The attack happened on 6 December last year after the pair had been drinking heavily in their home in the Granton area of Edinburgh.

As much as we are not compatible as husband and wife, she is a great mum
James Walsh

Their two children, aged nine and seven, had been upstairs in bed and were unaware of what was happening.

Fiscal depute Aidan Higgins said the couple had been married for 10 years, but their relationship had been "troubled".

Victoria Walsh dialled 999 at about 0100 GMT and said she had stabbed her husband five times.

When the emergency services arrived, Mr Walsh was sitting on the toilet with a number of stab wounds on his upper body and there was a blood-soaked top nearby.

He later told police officers: "As much as we are not compatible as husband and wife, she is a great mum. She adores the girls and the girls adore her."

Exceptional step

Mr Walsh was found to have a collapsed lung due to a wound in his right chest.

He was discharged on 10 December but was readmitted three days later with intense pain in his chest caused by a blood clot that had to be removed.

The accused's defence agent, Ross Gardner, said the couple were back together and, with this in mind, he asked the sheriff not to impose the custodial sentence that such a crime would normally merit.

Sheriff James Scott said that in view of what he had read in social inquiry reports and what Mr Gardner had said, he would take the exceptional step of not sending her into custody.



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