Caldicot murder-bid husband's sentence appeal fails

12:40pm Sunday 17th June 2012

A CALDICOT man who tried to murder his ex-wife failed in his bid to have his sentence reduced.

Michael John Ball, 44, of Sandy Lane, Caldicot, asked judges sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court to reduce his 13-and-a-half-year sentence, complaining he had been treated too harshly.

The court heard Ball drank 17 pints of lager and took cocaine before accusing his ex-wife, Helen Ball, of having sex with someone else and attacking her with a 15cm carving knife on July 29, last year.

The couple divorced in 2005 but resumed their relationship 18 months later.

But it broke down again and when she decided to leave him for a second time he attacked her, stabbing her first in the bedroom.

The couple's daughter jumped on his back to try and stop him and Mrs Ball fled naked into the street.

But her estranged husband pursued her and continued his "purposeful and ferocious attack" until he was tackled by neighbours.

Mrs Ball suffered 11 stab wounds, three of which were close to major organs.

Ball was jailed at Newport Crown Court last November after pleading guilty to attempted murder on the first day of his scheduled trial.

But at the appeal court hearing his lawyers argued his sentence should have been shorter, claiming Ball was so drunk he could not properly have formed an intention to kill . They also claimed he should have been given more credit for pleading guilty.

The judges threw out the appeal, saying he could have pleaded guilty at an earlier stage but chose not to and said there was no arguable case that the sentence was manifestly excessive.

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