Chris May recently successfully prosecuted Michael Barnard, 25, for the attempted murder of his wife, who was he attacked at their family home in Hextable, Kent.
Shannon Barnard, 21, suffered at least 46 stab wounds to her limbs and body, as Barnard repeatedly knifed her, telling her she "had to die".
Fourteen injuries were to her chest and breasts alone, with at least four penetrating her internal organs, and 10 to her abdomen.
Both her lungs collapsed and her liver and bowels were cut through. She has also been left with substantial and numerous scars which may require skin grafts. Mrs Barnard spent 17 days in hospital. She later told police she felt "every blow" and thought she would die. Doctors said she was "extremely fortunate" to have survived. The Crown called a pathologist who gave evidence that studies show the chances of a single penetrating stab wound to the torso causing death are about 30%.
The frenzied attack occurred two weeks after she found out about her husband's infidelity during an evening of drinking and consuming the legal high, nitrous oxide. The court heard he was later accused of raping the other woman but he claimed she had consented to “passionate sex”.
Mrs Barnard was said to have accepted he had simply cheated on her. When Mrs Barnard woke one morning when her husband attacked her.
The prosecution called expert psychiatric evidence to disprove that the defendant was suffering from a psychiatric disorder, even though he claimed to have been hearing gunshots and seeing the devil.
A jury convicted Barnard of attempted murder.
Judge Philip Statman said:
"Your wife was extraordinarily lucky to have survived this ordeal. The reason why she did so was down to the very quick medical response together with the extraordinary skill of the surgeons who undoubtedly in my judgment saved her life."
"This was a relentless and horrifying assault upon her. It was ferocious and looking at the photographs of her body and indeed of the scene, one can see the amount of blood that she lost, and significantly the scars that will accompany her throughout her life”.
In a strange twist to the case, his wife confirmed during the sentencing hearing that she wanted to take her husband back after he has served his 20-year sentence, confirming that she had forgiven him for the attack.
Chris May is a heavyweight criminal barrister instructed in some of the most serious, and often high profile criminal cases either as the leading junior or sole advocate.