Addict slashed partner with a knife and pal with bottle opener as drug habit "got out of control", court hears

An addict who slashed a friend with a bottle opener and attacked his partner with a knife during drink and drug-fuelled episodes has been jailed.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 7:00 am

Martin David Longstaffe, 45, attacked his pal at a park in Castleford, and after being bailed, attacked his partner in her home, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Ian Cook said that on the evening of January 26, 2020 the woman had returned home after comforting a friend who had suffered a bereavement, and found Longstaffe -with whom she had been a relationship with for about five months - in bed.

He began to verbally abuse her before grabbing her, punching her then putting his hands around her throat and pinning her to the floor.

Martin Longstaffe received 33 months' jail.

She was able to wriggle free but he followed her to the kitchen and grabbed a knife from a drawer. She then ran back into the bedroom and closed the door to keep him out but he forced his way in.

During the struggle her arm was cut deeply by the blade and she ran out of the property and raised the alarm with neighbours.

When quizzed by police, Longstaffe said it was her that had grabbed the knife, not him, and she must have suffered the wound when she was "flailing it around".

He denied causing GBH with intent and was put on trial, but later admitted a lesser charge of GBH without intent.

However, at the time of the attack, he had been under investigation for a serious assault on a man at a children's play park in Castleford a year prior.

On February 23, 2019, he had been drinking with friends at the park off Ashton Lane, when an argument broke out.

One of his friends hit Longstaffe in the face with a crutch he was using after a hip operation.

Longstaffe then quickly retaliated, striking the man in the face with an object in his hand, causing the victim to bleed heavily.

It was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service that it was a card-shaped bottle opener that Longstaffe had in his hand at the time, although a small knife was discarded nearby, along with the opener.

The victim needed hospital treatment for a 12cm-long incision wound on his cheek.

Longstaffe, formerly of Holywell Lane, Castleford but now of no fixed address, gave no comment during police interview but later admitted a charge of unlawful wounding.

Both victims of Longstaffe's violent outbursts were left with permanent scars, the court was told.

Longstaffe appeared at Leeds Crown Court via video link from prison, where he has been held on remand for more than a year.

Mitigating, Michael Collins, said Longstaffe had a long-standing issue with drugs from the age of 12.

He had also suffered a difficult childhood and had dealt with trauma by using prescription and illegal drugs, Mr Collins added.

At one point he had been taking 10 different prescription drugs.

He said: "He has failed to address those issues and has chosen to try to deal with by taking prescription drugs alongside controlled drugs.

"The defendant himself suggests that drug taking had got completely out of hand."

The court heard that he was taking crack, heroin and cannabis and was spending "a couple of hundred pounds" a day.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC jailed him for 33 months in total, and a 10-year restraining order to keep him away from both victims.