Violent woman jailed for stabbing vulnerable man

Image caption Hayley Smith preyed on the victim's vulnerability, a court heard

A woman with more than 100 criminal convictions has been jailed after she repeatedly stabbed a man with learning difficulties.

Hayley Smith, 38, hid in a cupboard in Ripley Court, Lancaster, after knifing the 64-year-old and leaving him with two exposed tendons on 26 March.

The socially isolated man was preyed on for his vulnerability, Preston Crown Court heard.

Smith, of no fixed address, was jailed for 7 years and 4 months.

The victim's vulnerability was "obvious" to Smith, who is a drug and alcohol addict, the court heard, and was known to often behave in a drunk and abusive manner.

She has a lengthy criminal record including domestic assaults, attacks and use of weapons.

Peter Killen, prosecuting, said the man was socially isolated and spent most of his time at home, playing on his X-box.

"His vulnerability would have been obvious to Miss Smith," he told the court.

'Suffers nightmares'

The court heard police had been called four days prior to their attendance at the man's flat but there had been a delay in their response.

He suffered wounds to his wrists, legs, arms and face after she took a knife from his kitchen.

Smith later took away his mobile phone so he could not contact police.

Officers found the victim with toilet roll wrapped around his wounds.

The victim said the pair had been friends for 20 years but her behaviour seemed to have got worse since she received a photograph of a child in the post.

Tom Lord, defending, said Smith had been socially isolated since leaving school as a teenager with a caution for arson.

Recorder Kate Bex said: "He can not play his X-box anymore, which is his only pleasure in life.

"He has also moved to another address out of fear. He no longer lives alone and suffers from nightmares.

"The offence is so serious only a lengthy custodial sentence can be justified."

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