'Forever grateful:' Gateshead woman stabbed 29 times highlights issue of domestic violence

Great North Air Ambulance
Ms Turner says the attack has had a lasting impact, and she has nightmares, mood swings and cannot stand with her back to people. Credit: Great North Air Ambulance

A woman who was stabbed 29 times by her partner then locked in a cupboard and left for dead, has spoken of her experience to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Martina Turner, from Winlaton Mill, was attacked by Steven Wood - who was then her partner - in May 2021, while getting ready for breakfast.

The 54-year-old was stabbed 29 times with three different knives.

Ms Turner said: “It was a Friday morning and I had just got back from the doctors.

“I was setting the table ready to eat breakfast and could see on Steven’s face that he was bothered by something.”

As Wood had bipolar Ms Turner said she put his mood swings down to the medical condition as he could experience extreme highs.

In July 2022, Ms Turner spoke to ITV Tyne Tees about her horrific ordeal.

She said there was no warning of the attack, as there were times where he would do anything for her, including showering her in expensive goods.

"He could be so generous and charming and even had my friends and family under his spell," said Ms Turner.

“We had been together for about a year and a half at this point after meeting on Match.com. I did everything right when we dated like telling my friends where I was and meeting in public and didn’t see any red flags.

“In the time we were together, he never laid a hand on me which is a big shock really compared to the brutality of what he then did.”

On the day of the attack, Ms Turner claimed Wood began to get angrier. In an attempt to diffuse the situation Ms Turner suggested she go for a walk with their do. Ms Turner said: “I told him I was going to go out and that’s when he went to the cupboard, got a knife and then stabbed me from behind and said: ‘You’re going nowhere’."

According to Ms Turner, she did not recognise what had happened at first due to the adrenaline, saying "it just felt like a fist in my back, that was until I saw the blood running from my shirt."

She continued: “He then got a second knife and I tried to reason with him from the other side of the island.

“He then said: ‘I can’t stop now, I need to finish you off because I am not going to jail’.”

During the attack Wood stabbed Ms Turner's legs, breasts and also cut through the tendons in her hands as she attempted to protect her face.

Ms Turner said: “He then got the bread knife out of the drawer, and I tried to hide in the cupboard, but he rammed the knife into my chest.

“He then went upstairs, changed his top, locked me in the cupboard then went out and left me for dead."

Ms Turner had 17 stab wounds in her back, as well as punctures to her legs and hands. Credit: Great North Air Ambulance

Luckily Ms Turner's handbag was in the cupboard she was locked in, and she was able to dial 999.

Once on the scene, the emergency services smashed through Ms Turner's window to get her out.

While the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was already on its way, Ms Turner was unable to be transported to hospital via helicopter as a knife was still stuck in her chest. This meant she could not lie down.

She added: “I felt guilty they used the helicopter and its fuel to get to me and I was taken by road, but I will still be forever grateful.”

On arrival to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, Ms Turner was treated for 29 stab wounds, 17 of which were in her back.

While in hospital, Ms Turner was given a different name as she says she was paranoid Wood was "coming for her."

“The police had informed my children, and they had appointed a family liaison officer as they didn’t think I would survive," she said.

"I remember afterwards, the doctor told me: ‘you are a survivor’”.

Mr Wood initially denied the attack but later changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years.

Steven Wood left his former partner Martina for dead after stabbing her numerous times and locking her in a cupboard. Credit: Great North Air Ambulance

Speaking of her recovery following the incident, Ms Turner said: “I was in hospital for six weeks then my son had to care for me as my hands were so badly damaged and bandaged that I couldn’t do anything for myself.

“Now I have a fear of knifes and have nightmares and bad mood swings.

“I can’t have people stand behind me now, I can’t queue and if I am at a restaurant I always must sit with my back against the wall.”

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