A desperate man who stabbed a grandmother in the head 13 times with serrated steak knife while trying to steal her handbag has been handed a minimum 10-year sentence.
Lee Greenall, 39, carried out the frenzied attack on 68-year-old Angela Burks outside her home on Grange Street, Alfreton in February.
High on drink and drugs, the attack was so ferocious that the knife he used bent by 90 degrees, and he was even seen stamping on the victim.
Mrs Burks was left with serious injuries including bleeding to the brain and a fractured eye socket.
There was so much blood that her own daughter hardly recognised her.
Appearing in custody at Nottingham Crown Court today, Greenall, of Castle Drive, Somercotes, was told by Judge Stuart Rafferty QC: “Any of those injuries could have been fatal, it’s a matter of fortune that they were not.
“You intended to cause her serious harm.
“Because of the ferocity of this attack, and the gratuitous use of violence, it falls towards the top of the sentencing guidelines.”
Outlining the case for the crown, Dawn Pritchard said that Mrs Burks had been returning home from Tesco in Alfreton at around 6pm on Friday, February 5.
She was just yards from her front door when Greenall stepped out and asked her to hand over her bag.
After refusing, a struggle ensued and Mrs Burks later said she felt blows raining down on her.
She did not even know that she had been stabbed and eventually relented to let him have the bag, but he continued to attack her.
She told police that she thought the ‘end had come’, meaning she felt she was going to die.
Greenall eventually fled.
Mrs Burks was taken to hospital where she remained for three days.
Her bag was found in a bin on the same street eight days after the attack.
All that was missing was £50 in cash.
However, the knife was also eventually located, and still contained Mrs Burks’ blood on the blade as well as Greenall’s DNA on the handle.
He was initially arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, which he denied but later admitted robbery, wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article.
In mitigation, Steve Gosnell said Greenall had been the sole carer for his grandmother who had died last year, which led him turning to drink and amphetamine.
Mr Gosnell said Greenall had shown ‘true remorse’ in a letter read out to the court, he said: “I’m thoroughly horrified what by what happened.
“If someone did that to my grandma I would not have been able to cope.
“There’s no excuse for what I did, I totally deserve everything I get.
“I lost all reality of life and started on drink and drugs.
“It does not justify what happened, I’m truly sorry.”
However, Grenall had a history of violence with numerous convictions including battery, ABH, threatening behaviour and possession of a knife.
As well as the minimum 10-year sentence, Greenall was told he must serve a further four years on licence.