A jealous boyfriend was today jailed for trying to murder his £5.5million lottery winner partner after accusing her of having a secret affair.
Stephen Gibbs, 45, used a kitchen knife to stab Emma Brown seven times in the face leaving her in a pool of blood on the patio of their luxury home.
The couple had been happy for eight years but when Emma, 49, won the lottery in 2017 their relationship changed the next day, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard.
Gibbs wiped away a tear as partly-blinded Emma told the court she had once loved him but now felt nothing but pity.
He was given an 18-year extended prison sentence after admitting attempting to murder his millionaire girlfriend.
Flooring contractor Gibbs turned down Emma’s dreams of travelling the world on her winnings and instead became possessive, controlling and jealous.
Prosecutor Ieuan Bennett said: ‘Gibbs became a changed person in 2017 when Ms Brown had the good fortune of winning the national lottery.
Stephen Gibbs, 45, used a kitchen knife to stab Emma Brown (pictured with Gibbs) seven times in the face leaving her in a pool of blood on the patio of their luxury home in Barry, south Wales
‘It was a significant amount of money and meant she could become financially independent of the defendant.
‘This altered the nature of the balance of their relationship and it caused arguments between the two of them.’
Gibbs fitted a tracking device to her top-of-the range Mercedes to follow her every move around the seaside resort of Barry, South Wales, where they lived in a £700,000 house.
He became suspicious that Emma was cheating on him with former school friend Scott McKenzie, a tenant in a property bought with her lottery winnings.
Gibbs accused her of seeing Mr Mackenzie, 48, behind his back and had threatened to ‘cut his throat’ after catching them together.
He accused Emma of being with Mr McKenzie on January 30 after she called to see one of her cleaners to deliver a birthday card.
Pictured: Gibbs was jailed for 18 years after he admitted one charge of attempted murder
Prosecutor Mr Bennett said: ‘It was an innocent visit but when she got home Gibbs questioned her about where she had been.
‘He was jealous and worried about her past and there was a mention of Macca, which was Mr McKenzie’s nickname.
‘He said: “I don’t believe you – you have been to see Macca”.’
When former airport worker Emma told Gibbs she wanted to break off their 12-year relationship he grabbed her around the neck, slammed her against the wall breaking her arm and went to the kitchen to grab a nine-inch kitchen knife.
Mr Bennett said: ‘He told her he was going to cut his own throat and she was trying to stop him when he turned his anger on her, still holding the knife.
‘She was on the patio outside and can remember thinking she was going to be killed as the knife went into one of her eyes.
The court heard Emma (pictured) needed surgery after the vicious attack in January this year
‘She told Gibbs: “Tell my mother I love her”, as he stabbed her in the face from close-up seven times. She thought they were going to be her dying words.’
CCTV from Emma’s property, played in court, showed a silhouette of Gibbs sitting astride his girlfriend with his arm going up and down as he stabbed her in the face and head.
Gibbs fled in Emma’s £80,000 Mercedes leaving his partner dying on the patio of their luxury home bought with her winnings.
The court heard she only survived because neighbours heard groaning coming from the property and a faint calling of ‘ Help, help’.
Gibbs called a friend and his own brother to say: ‘I’ve done something stupid, I’ve stabbed Emma, I think I killed her.’
Gibbs was found in a lay-by five miles away after taking ‘a load of tablets’ in a bid to kill himself. A blood-stained kitchen knife was found on the passenger seat.
Mr Bennett said: ‘A tracking device was found on the car, he had been keeping records of wherever Emma Brown travelled to. It was part of the jealousy he was feeling at the end of their affair.’
Emma was left with 75 per cent vision in her right eye and was left physically and emotionally scarred for life and a ‘shell’ of her former self.
In a victim impact statement read to the court she said: ‘We were together for 12 years, I never thought he was capable of doing something like this to me.
‘I used to be the life and soul of the party but now I can’t face being in a group of people. But I am conflicted because I’m also scared of being alone.
At Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court (pictured), the judge praised Emma for resilience and bravery
‘I’ve been left with a lazy eye which has affected my confidence – I don’t know if I will fully recover from what has happened.
‘We were together for 12 years and were happy – I don’t hate him and I do have good memories of the time we had together which makes what happened all the more shocking.
‘I feel pity for him more than anything else.’
Gibbs, who has his 46th birthday today, has a previous conviction for stabbing an 11-year-old boy, the son of a previous partner.
When the woman ended her relationship with Gibbs, he stabbed her son five times before taunting her: ‘You get in here – you’d better see this. You are going to suffer.’
He later attempted to take his own life by jumping from a multi-storey car park in Barry but survived the fall.
Judge Richard Twomlow praised Emma’s bravery and resilience in overcoming what he described as a ‘quite horrific’ attack.
The judge said he considered giving Gibbs a life sentence for attempting to murder Emma after he had been previously served 10 years for the earlier knife attack.
He told Gibbs: ‘It seems jealousy had been developing – you used a tracking device on Ms Brown’s car and accused her of lying about where she had been.
‘You took a large knife and stabbed in her own home saying: ‘I’m going to kill you’, and you thought you had killed her.
‘I am satisfied you present a significant risk to the public.’
Gibbs showed no emotion as he was jailed for 13 years and given a five year extended sentence. He was also made the subject of a restraining order preventing him from contacting Emma indefinitely.