Footballer Mendham jailed for attack

Former Norwich City star Peter Mendham told his partner “we're both going to die tonight” after plunging a knife into her back, Norwich Crown Court has heard.

Former Norwich City star Peter Mendham told his partner “we're both going to die tonight” after plunging a knife into her back, Norwich Crown Court has heard.

Mendham, 46, of Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, was jailed for seven-and-a-half-years after he admitted wounding with intent on October 18 last year. The Milk Cup winning midfielder who until recently worked as a high profile fundraiser for the East Anglian Air Ambulance lashed out with a kitchen knife after his partner Charlotte Hyam, 39, returned an engagement ring to him in a heated argument.

Prosecutor Ian James told the court: “Miss Hyam felt a blow to her back and thought it was his fist. Then she felt a warm sensation and realised she had been stabbed. He told her: 'If I can't have you no-one will. We're both going to die tonight'.”

Mr James added that after the stabbing Mendham left Miss Hyam bleeding in the hallway while he telephoned his ex-wife. It was only after a 15-minute wait that he rang the ambulance service.

Paramedics arrived to find her covered in blood and vomit. Mendham was in the front garden of the house 'wailing'. He told police he had attempted to take his own life but a toxicology report later refuted his claims that he took an overdose.

She was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with life-threatening injuries and later had a kidney removed. The court heard she nearly died and Mendham was fortunate not to be facing murder charges.

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After the sentencing, Miss Hyam issued the following statement: “My thoughts and fears throughout this horrible incident have always been for my young daughter, who was very nearly left without a mother. Both she and I will have to bear the physical and emotional scars of what happened on that night for the rest of our lives.

“Peter and I did have an argument but I didn't deserve what he did to me. No-one has the right to inflict such awful violence on another person.

“He is a man who I had looked up to and who said he loved me and my daughter, but ultimately he was capable of and prepared to carry out a vicious attack on me. I feel extremely fortunate that I survived it and I hope now that my daughter and I can get on with our lives.

“I would like to thank the doctors who saved me, the police who have supported me throughout the investigation and court proceedings, and the court for making Peter pay for what he did.”

Outside court, investigating officer Det Sgt Gary Bloomfield said: “This was a horrific ordeal for the victim in this case and is one of the most serious domestic violence incidents we have seen in Norwich in recent years.

“Charlotte suffered serious injuries - she has lost a kidney and will have to live the physical and emotional consequences for the rest of her life. It is extremely fortunate that she was not fatally injured.

“I hope this case highlights the fact that police will deal swiftly and robustly with anyone who inflicts a violent injury like this on another person.

“I hope anyone who is a victim of any kind of violence within a relationship will be encouraged to come forward safe in the knowledge that these serious crimes will be dealt with positively.”