Grimsby man locked up for web date knife attack
AN INTERNET date that ended in a knife attack has prompted safety warnings for those looking for love online.
People who use dating sites are being urged to follow basic guidelines to protect themselves from harm.
It comes as a 23-year-old Grimsby man was jailed for attacking a woman who had travelled from Leicester to meet him for a first date.
After becoming jealous at texts she received from a male friend during the evening, he turned on her – verbally abusing the woman before punching her and grabbing a knife from the kitchen.
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It was only when her leg was cut in the incident that he apologised – and told her he loved her.
Today, safety experts from Get Safe Online are warning those who use dating services to think safety first.
Paul Cuthbert, of Hainton Avenue, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm to Michelle Greenfield, who suffered a cut to the leg, two black eyes, bruising and a swollen jaw after their date on November 24.
Prosecuting at Grimsby Crown Court, Mark Kendall heard the evening had initially been going well.
However, it turned into a nightmare when Miss Greenfield began exchanging texts with a male friend after returning to Cuthbert's home after going out for a meal.
He became jealous and abusive towards her, before punching her. He then went to the kitchen and returned with a knife.
After Miss Greenfield suffered a cut to the leg, Cuthbert apologised and told her he loved her.
She remained in the house overnight and reported the attack to Leicester police on returning home.
Cuthbert owned up to the assault as soon as he opened the door to officers. He showed them the knife and a blood-stained sheet.
For Cuthbert, Katya Saudek said her client could not have made an earlier admission of guilt and that the knife wound was superficial.
She added that her client's four-year-old daughter had died just a few days before the attack after suffering a heart condition.
She said: "He saw the text that she had been sending and it tipped him over." He was remorseful, she said.
Jailing Cuthbert for up to 16 months, judge Mark Bury told Cuthbert: "This was a person you were fond of and taking care of. The harm was serious."
A Humberside Police spokeswoman said the force did not experience "many problems" arising from such encounters but she urged people to be cautious.
A spokesperson for Get Safe Online said: "If someone you meet online is sincerely interested in you, they will want you to feel safe and they will be happy to let you apply a few common sense rules when you meet.
"Always meet and stay in a populated public place. Do not accept a lift from your date.
"Tell a friend or family member who you are meeting, where you are going and when you will be back. Stay sober. Take your mobile phone and keep it switched on.
"Keep guard of your personal belongings and don't leave your drinks unattended because they can be drugged."