Published: 14:35, 01 November 2017
A jealous thug left a woman “vomiting through fear” after making death threats and carrying out a vicious and unprovoked knife attack on a man in his own front garden.
A court heard that Gerard Keogh and his partner Natalie Amor had gone to collect her children in March this year.
En route she discovered he had armed himself with a knife.
Ms Amor became frightened and fled from him, making her way to her mother’s address in Downs Road, Folkestone, after collecting her two children.
The jury heard how she then called a friend sounding “scared, stressed and worried” because of threats from the drunken Keogh.
The 37-year-old had carried on drinking and his ex discovered later that her home had been trashed.
Keogh claimed Ms Amor had done the damage but Judge Heather Norton told him that the evidence was “overwhelming that in a drunken rage,” he had “trashed the property before stealing jewellery”.
He was then heard making death threats before travelling to Ms Amor’s mother’s home, where he stabbed her stepfather Christopher Temm in the neck as he returned to his front door after putting the bins out.
The judge said Mr Temm had never met Keogh before but was the victim of a “vicious and unprovoked attack”.
Keogh charged at him brandishing two knives and shouting he was going to kill him before slashing and stabbing him in the neck and arm and then punching and kicking him.
He was disturbed by neighbours as Ms Amor and her terrified family locked themselves inside a bathroom at the Folkestone property, with Ms Amor’s mother “vomiting through fear”.
Keogh, of no fixed address, was acquitted of attempted murder but admitted a charge of wounding with intent.
"I have no doubt that you were the controlling, aggressive and jealous partner, who became violent after being fuelled with drink and drugs" - Judge Heather Norton, to Keogh
He was given an extended 12 and a half year jail term, including an immediate nine and a half year prison term and an extra three years to be served when he is released.
Keogh had admitted wounding Mr Temm with intent, having two knives in public, damaging Mr Temm’s Peugeot car and stealing his ex's handbag.
Canterbury Crown Court heard the incidents followed a “short but turbulent” relationship between the couple.
Judge Heather Norton told him: “Having heard evidence and the allegations both of you made against each other, I have no doubt that you were the controlling, aggressive and jealous partner, who became violent after being fuelled with drink and drugs.”
Prosecutor Simon Taylor told a jury how Ms Amor and Keogh had met in Dublin at New Year.
“During that trip the couple ‘hit it off’ and she invited him to visit her in Folkestone and in February she asked him to stay in her spare room.
“At first it worked well but by March the defendant had run out of money and wasn’t working,” he claimed.
Keogh was then alleged to have become aggressive in questioning her about her friends “in a controlling way”.
Mr Taylor told how on March 11, Ms Amor and Keogh travelled from Folkestone to Maidstone to go to a party but she suggested she stay at a hotel by herself. He said it was then that Keogh kicked the family dog and was spoken to by a passing woman and child.
“The defendant didn’t respond well to this. His response was to chase the mother and child away, shouting: ‘F***** Brits. And ‘Up the IRA’, it was claimed.
Mr Temm was taken to the William Harvey Hospital and treated for his neck and arm wounds. The family have since moved from the area.
After sentencing, Detective Sergeant Lewis Tompsett said: "Keogh is clearly an extremely violent individual who attacked a man he didn’t even know with absolutely no hesitation. That man had to undergo surgery for his injuries.
"Victim’s should never be subjected to such a terrifying ordeal and should feel safe in their homes and towns. People should never have to live in fear of offenders like him who have the desire to carry out thoughtless and spontaneous acts of violence.
"We will continue to do everything possible to investigate violent crimes like this and seek justice for our victims."
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