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Michael Barnard faces jail after stabbing wife in row over rape allegation

A deranged husband who stabbed his wife at least 46 times after they rowed about him cheating on her is facing a long jail sentence.

Michael Barnard told his wife Shannon Thompson “You have got to die” as he repeatedly knifed her in the chest and abdomen.

She was taken to hospital with serious wounds to her lungs liver and bowel.

Barnard was found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court
Barnard was found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court

“She was extremely fortunate to survive,” said prosecutor Christopher May.

A jury convicted Barnard of attempted murder by a 10-2 majority. He was cleared of raping another woman.

Sentence was adjourned until September 14 while a report to assess dangerousness is prepared.

“If the conclusion is that he is dangerous, there will be an extended sentence,” said Judge Philip Statman.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the terrifying attack happened at the couple’s fixed caravan at Valley Park in Lower Road, Hextable, on January 11 this year.

The previous month Barnard, 24, was alleged to have raped the woman at the caravan while his wife slept off the effects of drink and “doing balloons” of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

Mr May said the victim and others had been out at Bluewater shopping centre drinking cocktails before downing more alcohol and doing balloons of the gas at the caravan.

After Shannon, 21, was sick and went to bed, Barnard was left alone with the woman he was alleged to have raped.

“He said he was f----- up in the head and didn’t want to be married,” said Mr May.

About two days later the woman told a friend she had been raped. She reported it at a hospital at the end of December.

Barnard accepted he had intercourse with the woman, but claimed she consented.

Mr May said Shannon was inclined to believe his claim that it was not rape.

But on January 11, they rowed about him cheating on her. She went to sleep on a sofa and woke up to hear Barnard on the phone to his father, who also lived on the caravan site.

Barnard then came out of the bedroom with a kitchen knife and started to stab her.

“She was screaming,” said Mr May. “He pushed her into the kitchen. He said: ‘You have got to die.’

“He then stabbed her repeatedly to the chest and abdomen, causing a large number of injuries, some of which were very serious.

“She sustained many wounds to her hands and palms, sometimes referred to as defensive injuries as she tried to fight him off and defend herself from the attack.”

Barnard had a wound to the left side of his chest. It was suggested he deliberately stabbed himself.

Barnard was taken to hospital before an ambulance arrived for his wife. She remained in hospital for some time.

He denied attempted murder, an alternative charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and rape.

After the verdicts following 12 hours of deliberation, Mr May said there were three psychiatric reports on Barnard. It was concluded a defence of insanity was not available to him.

Judge Statman told the jury of six men and six women: “You have given anxious consideration to what has been a difficult case for all of you.”

Shannon, who remained outside the courtroom while the verdicts were returned, said in evidence she feared she was dying during the attack.

"I was on my back on the floor and Mike was literally on top of me and was just stabbing me,” she said. “He was on his knees and leant over me.

"He said 'No, you've got to die'. I was just thinking I was going to die, that I was dead" - Shannon Thompson

"I remember him trying to move my arms away and I was just screaming. He didn't say anything apart from when I said: 'Stop. I've got to call my dad'.

"He said 'No, you've got to die'. I was just thinking I was going to die, that I was dead."

He stopped when his parents and an uncle arrived at the caravan.

Her eyes were rolling, she said. She could hear her father-in-law shouting to his son “What have you done?”

"I was opening and closing my eyes,” she continued. “They were screaming at him. His mum said 'What have you done?' and I said 'He has killed me. I'm dying'.

She revealed she kept a knife under her bed because she was worried about him.

Asked if she was standing by him, she paused and replied: “I wish him all the best.”

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