Man jailed for horrific stabbing of former partner in St Peter’s before setting her house alight

McDonald was sentenced to 16 years

A violent thug who repeatedly stabbed his former partner as she lay in bed and then set her house alight has been jailed for 16 years.

Homeless James McDonald, 30,  pleaded guilty to attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife in public when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 10 February. He also pleaded guilty to arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.


On Wednesday 21 September 2016 McDonald viciously attacked a former partner as she lay asleep in her bed.

The court heard how McDonald, who had been a guest at the house in Albion Road, St Peter’s, flew into a rage after failing to accept their relationship was over. He repeatedly stabbed the 32-year-old victim with a kitchen knife as she begged for him to stop. He also hit her across the head several times with a stereo speaker.

Despite her wounds the woman escaped from the house by crawling out onto the street where she cried for help. McDonald ran after her, grabbed her by the hair and continued to stab her in front of horrified members of the public.

When McDonald was challenged by a passer-by he left his victim in the street, ran back into the house and set the building alight.

Several members of the public  rushed to help the woman and her two children, administering first aid.

Police officers and ambulance crews were called, along with firefighters, and the woman was taken to a London hospital in a serious condition. She was left fighting for her life after suffering more than 30 stab wounds to her head and body, a fractured cheek bone and punctured lungs.

The children were taken to the QEQM Hospital in Margate – one for minor injuries and the other as a precaution.

McDonald was arrested at the scene.

In court

McDonald was  sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court today (June 2).

Upon his release from prison McDonald must  serve an additional five years on licence as part of an extended sentence.
Detective Sergeant Ross Gurden, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘This was a horrific and unprovoked attack on a helpless woman and McDonald has shown he can be an extremely volatile and dangerous person with absolutely no regard for life.

“The victim is lucky to be alive after he stabbed her so many times his knife broke.

‘I would like to commend the victim for her courage after being subjected to such a life changing ordeal and those members of the public that came to her assistance.

“We hope this lengthy sentence provides some reassurance to the public that Kent Police will not tolerate such terrible acts of violence and will do everything within its power to bring offenders to justice.”