Christopher Woolven: Brighton man who tried to kill ex-girlfriend Danielle Morrison with kitchen knife jailed

Christopher Woolven attacked his ex-girlfriend at the flat they shared (Sussex Police)

Christopher Woolven attacked his ex-girlfriend at the flat they shared (Sussex Police)

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Brighton man has been jailed for 14 years for trying to kill his ex-girlfriend at their home in the city.

Christopher Woolven stabbed his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Morrison, at the flat they shared in Marine Parade on August 2 after she broke up with him. The 23-year-old went to collect some belongings from the flat where Woolven was waiting for her in the kitchen, and attacked her with a kitchen knife. He then fled leaving her to call 999.

Emergency services were called to the address at 3.15pm on Wednesday, August 2 and found Morrison with serious stab wounds to her face, arm, leg and stomach. She was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, in a serious but stable condition and has since been released to recover from the physical injuries at home.

Woolven, 39, a road sweeper, handed himself into John Street Police Station shortly after the attack and was arrested for attempted murder, GBH with intent and possession of a weapon. He was charged the following day with attempted murder and appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on August 4.

When appearing at Hove Crown Court on August 24, he pleaded guilty.

On October 20 at Lewes Crown Court he was sentenced to 19 years, 14 to serve in prison and another five on licence.

Speaking after the sentencing, Morrison said: "When I went to collect my belongings, I would never have thought someone who I was with for seven years was capable of something like this, especially someone who claimed they 'loved me.'

"I was so scared of not being able to escape and never see my family again. I have mental and physical scars as well as losing all my confidence, I constantly fear the worst when I go out now. I just hope after this sentencing I can try and move on with my life and focus of my future. It's going to take a long time to get over what has happened to me but with my family and friends' support I will overcome this."

Investigating officer Leon Ryan said: "Woolven attacked his former girlfriend, Danielle, in a cold and callous attack without saying a word to her. He couldn't cope that she had broken up with him and reacted by trying to kill her. She will be left with permanent scars, both physical and mental, because of Woolven.

"Woolven has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, sparing his victim the ordeal of giving evidence at trial. Judge Gold said Woolven was not prepared to accept that she wanted the relationship to end and you planned to kill her on what I regard as a 'if I can’t have you no-one will' basis. She was stabbed 14 times effectively leaving her for dead, inflicting grave injuries including a punctured diaphragm. Miraculously she recovered from the physical effects but the psychological effects will be long-standing.

"We have supported Danielle throughout and hope she can now find the support she needs through our partner agencies to try and find some closure."