Northumberland brothers are jailed for a combined 35 years after knife attacks

A knifeman who launched a “an uncontrolled and vicious” attack on a woman he had started a relationship with has been jailed for a quarter of a century.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 5:16 pm

Drink-fuelled Brett Fenwick repeatedly stabbed, kicked and punched Louise Pearce after believing that she would not leave her then partner for him.

The attack began in her house after he and his brother barged in and later continued in an adjoining garden after she fled when he dropped the first knife.

Armed with a fresh five-inch blade, Brett Fenwick, of Lower Barresdale, Alnwick, pursued her with a neighbour later describing how he “looked like a man possessed and manic”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The injuries Louise Pearce, right, suffered at the hands of Brett Fenwick, bottom left. Pictured top is Blaine Fenwick, Brett's brother, who was convicted of helping his brother attack Miss Pearce's partner earlier.

Mark Giuliani, prosecuting, told Monday’s sentencing hearing at Newcastle Crown Court: “The neighbour described her as being curled up like a ball as he was kicking her to the head.

“In her own words, he was beating her to a pulp.”

The court heard that Brett Fenwick only ended the attack, which took place in the town’s Howling Lane in the early hours of December 27, 2018, when Miss Pearce stopped moving.

He was then heard to say to neighbours: “I am the hard man of Barresdale.”

The incident took place in Howling Lane in Alnwick in the early hours of December 27, last year. Picture: Jane Coltman

Miss Pearce was rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for emergency surgery after suffering injuries to her neck, cheek, ear, jaw, scalp, chin and eyebrow.

Mr Giuliani said: “In the words of the pathologist, she is indeed lucky to be alive.”

Brett Fenwick, 37, was jailed for 18 years after admitting attempted murder.

He was also imprisoned for a further seven years after he was convicted by a jury of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after stabbing Miss Pearce’s partner, Gareth Mallaburn, before attacking her.

His younger brother, Blaine Fenwick, 25, also of Lower Barresdale, was jailed for 10 years after he was found guilty by the same jury of wounding Mr Mallaburn with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Mr Mallaburn had earlier used a shelf to defend himself when the brothers chased him through the house before he was stabbed in the neck by Brett Fenwick.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Penny Moreland accepted that Blaine Fenwick had not stabbed Mr Mallaburn and said Brett Fenwick would have been sentenced for longer than 10 years if he was only facing the wounding charge.

Addressing Brett Fenwick over his “uncontrolled and vicious attack” on Miss Pearce, she said: “You were drunk at the time, extremely drunk, and this occurred in her home and garden and to the horror of those looking at what you were doing.”

Lorraine Mustard, defending Brett Fenwick, said he had shown “genuine remorse” for the “spontaneous” attack on Miss Pearce and added: “The attack can be described in a single word as rage.”

She also said that he had proved a model prisoner while on remand and had not retaliated when he and his brother were subjected to a “violent attack” by other inmates.

Mark Styles, mitigating for Blaine Fenwick, said: “This was totally out of character. It was his first offence and in all reality his last.”

The pair were also banned indefinitely from contacting the injured parties and their three children either directly or indirectly.

The court heard the two attackers and the victims, who have since split up, knew each other after working together at The Alnwick Garden.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Miss Pearce said she felt ugly following her ordeal, that people were looking at her scars and that she had to wear a scarf throughout the year to hide her injuries.

She added: “I suffered life changing injuries that night, I have had plastic surgery operations and have been told I will need further surgery in the future.

“I struggle to sleep and regularly shout out and have nightmares.

“My children are my priority. I am trying my best to help them through this awful time whilst dealing with my own pain.”

Detective Constable Christopher Rogan, the case’s lead investigator for Northumbria Police, felt the sentences were “appropriate for the severity of the attacks”.

He said: "This has clearly been a hugely traumatic experience for both victims and I can't stress enough how dignified they have been through this court process.

“At some point in their lives, these people have been friends and it's hard to accept that someone you know could carry out such a violent attack on you.

"They both suffered horrendous injuries and are lucky to be alive.

“Thankfully we don't see violent attacks like this every day but it needs to be made clear that any intent to commit such grievous harm is wholly unacceptable and can utterly destroy lives.”