A duo who "tortured" a man who believed he was their friend have been sentenced to a total of 50 years in prison.
Jon Hamblin and Jessica Whinham were convicted of attempted murder after launching an attack on their 35-year-old victim.
The man had been sleeping on the couch of Whinham’s Stanley Street West address in North Shields on 11 September 2021, when he was woken to find himself on the floor with Hamblin standing over him.
Realising he had a deep stab wound, the victim said Whinham had put on music - choosing a song he had previously said he did not like - and told him it would be the last song he ever heard.
The attack continued as the victim begged for his life before eventually the pair permitted him to leave.
He stumbled out of the house and tried knocking on doors in Spencer Street before a kind-hearted couple came to his rescue and rang 999 just before 9am.
Paramedics and officers rushed to the scene and the victim was taken to hospital.
Police arrested and charged 20-year-old Whinham and 43-year-old Hamblin with attempted murder.
The pair denied their guilt but were found guilty of attempted murder by a jury following a trial in April last year at Newcastle Crown Court.
On Thursday 16 February, Hamblin was sentenced to 29 years behind bars, while Whinham was handed 21 years – both must serve at least two thirds of their sentences. They have also been handed indefinite restraining orders – preventing them from ever contacting their victim.
Describing the attack as "monstrous", Detective Inspector Jill Hall, of Northumbria Police, said “Hamblin and Whinham’s treatment of their victim was inhuman – it was a monstrous attack against a man who believed he was in the company of friends.
“I want to thank the team of officers and forensics staff who worked night and day to ensure this gruesome pair were brought to justice.”
She added: “I also want to thank the victim for his bravery throughout.
“No sentence will ever take away the pain of what’s happened, but I hope knowing his attackers will be locked up for years to come will give him some comfort.
“Thank you also to the couple who took in the victim in his hour of need and assisted him until paramedics arrived – your kindness, bravery and resilience proves that there are still plenty of selfless, kind people in our region.
“We will continue to support the victim’s recovery in any way we can.”
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