A Derby husband admitted to stabbing his wife in the back, despite her arriving at court and swearing on oath the wound was self-inflicted.
Derby Crown Court heard how Darlington Masunda plunged a kitchen knife into the victim with a “hard punch” in the kitchen of their Littleover home.
The 36-year-old then insisted on being with her in the ambulance to the Royal Derby Hospital.
The hearing was told that without intervention the wife could have suffered “catastrophic blood loss” from the knife wound, which narrowly missed her kidney.
And the prosecution said that police had been called to incidents between the couple on 12 separate occasions, including one time when Masunda “pushed her out into the street stark naked”.
But nine months on from the stabbing, at this week’s sentencing hearing, she arrived at court to the surprise of both the prosecution and defence and swore on oath her husband was not responsible.
Judge Shaun Smith QC asked the 32-year-old woman: “Throughout this prosecution you have not wanted Mr Masunda to be prosecuted. Is that right?”
She replied: “Yes.”
Judge Smith said: “You have said throughout the prosecution he was not responsible for the injuries you received.”
The woman answered: “Yes.”
Judge Smith asked: “Are you still saying that is the position today?”
She said: “Yeah, he didn’t do it.”
Judge Smith said: “The courts can give you protection, a restraining order to stop him coming anywhere near you. I need to know what you say about that. You tell me whether you want a restraining order.”
The wife replied: “No.”
Judge Smith said: “Do you understand there is no extra protection if he tries to do you harm?”
She answered: “He is not going to do me any harm, he’s my husband. I don’t need any extra protection from my husband.”
Andrew Copeland, prosecuting, said police were called to the couple’s home in Malham Road by the ambulance service on the afternoon of January 29.
He said the victim had been found lying on the floor in the kitchen with a wound to her back.
Mr Copeland said: “There were concerns regarding the cause of the injury because the defendant told the ambulance crew she must have fallen on the knife and wounded herself during an epileptic seizure.
“They said throughout the journey he was talking to her in a foreign language they did not understand.
“He also insisted on being with her at the hospital despite being told he could not as she was being taken to the intensive care unit.
“The prosecution suggest he was deliberately doing it to prevent her from telling the truth.”
Masunda was initially charged with the more serious wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
But he later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.
Mr Copeland said: “Without vital evidence from her about what exactly happened in the kitchen it is difficult for the prosecution to prove the former.”
Phil Gibbs, for Masunda, said: “It is a short-lived and nasty incident where he has struck out at this lady in anger, seizing an implement that is readily available in the kitchen.
“He lashed out with a hard punch in the heat of the moment.”
In November 2016, Derbyshire Live reported how Masunda was jailed for 20 months and banned from the roads for 10 years for his seventh drink-driving conviction.
Jailing him for two years for the stabbing, Judge Smith said: “This lady said it was not you and that she inflicted the injuries herself.
“She’s made her position quite clear in the witness box today.
“But by your guilty plea you accept your wrongdoing.
“You inflicted it on her from behind and there must have been an element of pre-meditation because you picked up a knife and used it.
“You plunged it into her back from behind.”