A HUDDERSFIELD hairdresser who brutally attacked his ex- fiancee after finding texts on her phone from other men has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Andrew Banks, 42, flew into a jealous rage after discovering that his former lover of four years, Rebecca Richards, had been contact with other men following their split.
He subjected the terrified 22-year-old to a savage and sustained attack during which the pretty blonde was beaten, kicked and stabbed up to 20 times.
Miss Richards, a banking adviser for Yorkshire Bank, was left scarred for life following the attack, which took place at the home the couple shared in Wheatley, Halifax, on December 28 last year.
Banks, who worked for 19 years at Huddersfield hair salon Roger David, was yesterday cleared by a jury for attempted murder after deliberating for three hours and 20 minutes.
But he pleaded guilty to the alternative offence of wounding with intent to cause GBH, for which he was ordered to spend eight years behind bars.
Sentencing him yesterday, Judge Scott Wolstenholme told twice-divorced Banks that he had callously and brutally attacked his ex-love in a fit of jealous rage.
He said: “You realised that she was making contact with other men and you entirely lost your temper.
“You subjected her to a sustained and merciless attack.”
The trial heard that the couple had enjoyed a happy relationship for four years and had talked of marriage and moving to a bigger home.
But by December last year the relationship had soured and Miss Richards decided that she no longer wanted to be with her partner, finally ending their relationship on Christmas Eve.
After the split, Banks bombarded her with texts and phone calls pleading with her to give their relationship another chance, but she refused and started considering dating other men.
Days later, when Miss Richards visited their home to pick up her belongings, he found that she had been texting other men and he lashed out at her in an uncontrollable, jealous rage.
Banks initially lied to police that Miss Richards had stabbed herself as she wanted to feel pain for all the hurt she had caused him and that he had struck her as he tried to stop her.
However in evidence he changed his story, admitting that he had struck her with the knives, but insisting that she had been the first to take up the knives. He said she had wanted to frame him so that he would be jailed and she could claim her share of their property.
But Judge Wolstenholme rejected Banks’ claims, telling him that he believed Miss Richards’ version of events; that he started the violence, which involved beating her, stamping on her face and slashing at her with several knives. He told him that when his rage subsided he demonstrated a “callous disregard” for his victim by refusing to call an ambulance, despite her repeated pleas at him to do so.
Judge Wolstenholme told him: “It was probably three hours before you summoned an ambulance and only after extracting from your battered and bruised victim a declaration that she inflicted the injuries on herself.”
Miss Richards said in a statement read out in court that the attack has had a devastating impact on her life.
She received multiple injuries to her head, face, neck, arms, legs and body when Banks lashed out at her with kitchen knives, stamping on her head and smashing her face into a wall.
Miss Richards had to have surgery to repair her bowel, which was pierced in the brutal attack, and had to have some tendons and nerves in her hands repaired.
Despite undergoing intensive physiotherapy, she has been unable to regain feeling in parts of her right hand.
She was left with 30 permanent scars to her body, which has left her self-conscious and unable to wear skirts.
She said she has lost her confidence and had to turn down the dream job she had been due to start around the time of the attack.
Miss Richards said that the attack had left her nervous and untrusting of other men and that she still has nightmares about her ex.
She added: “It’s turned my life upside down.”
Judge Wolstenholme said: “I’ve no doubt that she’s been left permanently damaged by this dreadful experience. She has permanent scarring and considerable emotional damage in the form of loss of confidence in relationships.”
The judge said that he had no doubt that Banks had acted out of character when he attacked his former love, adding that he believed it had been a “unique response” to the break-up.
He added: “You’ve said you’re sorry for what you’ve done, but what really came over was an overwhelming self-pity and anger and resentment that your victim has got you into this predicament.
“You blame her, you don’t blame yourself.”
Judge Wolstenholme sentenced Banks to eight years in prison, of which he will serve half. Banks, dressed completely in black, showed no emotion as he was sentenced, while Miss Richards shook and wept.
He was also ordered to pay his victim £5,000 as compensation for all the suffering he caused her.