A MAN has been jailed for more than 15 years for attempting to murder a neighbour with a learning disability by slashing his throat with a Stanley knife.

Kyle Walker, 28, had downed strong Polish lager and taken cocaine when he attacked the 55-year-old man at the Incommunities flats in Bradford where they lived, Bradford Crown Court heard today. 

Walker’s partner, Amy Capewell, 24, was spared an immediate prison sentence for assisting an offender by lying to the police about what had happened.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said the victim had reported Walker and Capewell to the housing association for trespassing in his garden and asking to borrow money at the block of flats in New Cross Street, West Bowling.

In the early hours of January 21, he went outside because his electricity had gone off.

Walker invited him into the flat he and Capewell shared and asked her to record him saying that his complaints about them were false. At first things were amicable but Walker was inebriated and became angry.

When the man got up to leave at 3.15am, Walker picked up a Stanley knife and followed him on to the landing.

He punched him in the arm, kicked his leg with his steel toe-capped boot and then slashed him at least twice across the neck saying: “There you go.”

The victim managed to get downstairs leaving a trail of dripping blood.

Capewell then called for an ambulance while Walker staunched the blood with towels.

When the paramedics arrived, she was outside ready to show them where the injured man was.

He had sustained two deep lacerations to his neck. His salivary gland had been cut into and his right jugular vein was punctured. He was treated at Leeds General Infirmary and discharged the next day.

In his victim personal statement, he said he had moved home because of the attack.

He had thought the couple were his friends but he was now too scared to attend the court hearing because he would have to see them.

He had been left scarred by the attack and he was now afraid to leave his new address even to go shopping.

Andrew Stranex, Walker’s barrister, said he bitterly regretted what he had done.

Once he had injured the man he came to his senses and switched to trying to look after him.

His life had been disrupted and difficult and he was unable to control his frustration and anger that night. He had no previous convictions for violent offences.

Clare Walsh, for Capewell, said she acted out of fear and misplaced loyalty and now understood the full implications of what she had done.

She had volunteered to the police on January 25 that she had lied in her two previous interviews when she stated that the man was already injured when he came to the flat.

Capewell had no previous convictions and had not taken any part in the violence.

She did voluntary cleaning and gardening work at a local church and was taking educational courses.

Judge Jonathan Rose said the vulnerable victim’s complaints about the couple were the catalyst for Walker’s violence. He intended to pressurise him into retracting them and then stated in a Facebook message: “I’m gonna kill him.”

After the attack, the couple concocted a story saying that the man had arrived at their flat already seriously wounded. The injuries were not life-threatening but they needed significant medical intervention.

Judge Rose said Capewell was in the grip of Walker’s influence when she lied to the police. She had since made great strides to turn her life around, engaging with the church and bettering her education.

Walker was jailed for 15 years and three months.

Capewell was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement, 150 hours of unpaid work and a six month electronically monitored curfew order.