A husband who was stabbed four times and almost had his eyes gouged out says he loves and forgives his wife, even after she nearly killed him.
Derek Burns was so badly injured in a prolonged drunken rage that police thought he was going to die.
Wendy Burns, 49, was jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court last week for six years after she admitted using an eight-inch knife to stab him four times, trying to gouge out his eyes, smashing him in the head with a glass ashtray and repeatedly punching his face.
But Mr Burns, 62, says he stands by her. He said: ‘I’ve written to her four times, telling her I forgive her, but have never received a reply.’
He said she’d been arrested several times for attacking him during their 15-year marriage.
And he told how he’d urged the court to reduce the charge against her from attempted murder to wounding with intent.
Mr Burns said his wife had a troubled past and he forgives her, misses her and still loves her.
‘I wrote to her sister saying that if I could be of any help without getting in the way I would be happy to.
‘I tried to get the charges lessened from attempted murder, and in the end they did. When my son told me she’d got six years I was in shock. I thought she’d only get three. I don’t believe we’ll ever get back together but I would have wanted to.
‘She made a statement to her solicitor saying she didn’t love me any more, in fact she didn’t even like me.
Jailed: Wendy Burns had been arrested several times for attacking her husband during their 15 year marriage
‘I would go and visit her but I don’t think I’ll get the chance – I don’t think she’d let me.’
Mr Burns, of Flint, North Wales, said he and his wife had been drinking on the night their relationship came to a shocking and violent end.
‘I didn’t have a clue what she was about to do,’ he said. We hadn’t been arguing, we’d just been sitting talking.
‘I was sitting in one of these chairs. She was sitting on the settee. She suddenly said ‘I want a divorce’.
‘She had asked quite a few times for a divorce, but it was always when she had been drinking.
‘Whenever I asked her about it the next day she wouldn’t even remember it and would say ‘just ignore me, you know what I’m like when I get drunk’.
‘But I said ‘okay, but you won’t be able to live here because this place is in my name’. I was trying to reason with her.
‘She just stood up and the next thing I knew she was right on me with a knife.
‘It was the biggest knife we’ve got, it’s so big it’s kept in a separate drawer in a sheath.
‘She tried to stab me in the chest with it but I managed to twist my body and she hit me here,’ he said, pointing at his side.
‘I got as close to her as I could to try to stop her stabbing me again, and that’s when she stabbed me in the back.
‘I was screaming at her ‘You’re going to ruin your life’.
‘She had me down on the floor and smashed an ashtray into my head, and anything she could find.
‘I thought if she gets another swing with that knife, that’s it. I grabbed the handle as low down as I could, where it’s not so sharp. But the blood was like oil.
‘I threw it and I think it bounced behind the settee. I started kicking on the floor with my foot and screaming for help, and that’s when she walked away.
‘She phoned the paramedics first and threw the phone on the floor next to me. The paramedic told me to keep talking. I don’t remember much more, but the police said they thought I was going to die.
‘The whole of these walls were covered in blood. A lot of stuff had to be thrown out.’
Mr Burns and his wife met when he was manager of Flint Sports and Social Club. At the time he was married to first wife Pat, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
‘Wendy came in and worked for us,’ he said, ‘We went about in a foursome, me and Pat and Wendy and her boyfriend.’
Pat died in 1995 after 27 years of marriage. They had three children, all now adults.
About nine months after Pat’s death, Mr Burns found Wendy sitting on her own having just fallen out with her boyfriend.