Husband tried to kill wife’s friend with combat knife

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Black had committed an appalling attack. Picture: Bill Henry
The High Court in Edinburgh heard Black had committed an appalling attack. Picture: Bill Henry
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AN estranged husband attempted to murder his wife’s friend after turning up at her new home armed with a combat-style knife.

Mark Black left Gillian Petrie covered in blood and thinking she was going to die as he almost severed her hand in the horror attack.

The victim crawled to a phone to make a 999 call before father-of-five Black stabbed her again.

Black’s wife Pauline barricaded herself in a bathroom after waking to screaming while he banged and kicked at the door trying to get in.

A judge yesterday told Black at the High Court in Edinburgh that he had committed “an appalling attack”.

Lady Scott said of the attempted murder victim: “She has been left devastated and requires ongoing treatment.”

She jailed Black, 42, for seven years for the attempted murder and a further ten months for stalking his estranged wife over a four-month period in which he followed her and bombarded her with offensive texts and e-mails.

The judge also made a non-harassment order prohibiting Black from contacting his estranged wife for 15 years.

The court heard that the couple’s marriage had broken down after 23 years and that Black was on bail over an alleged incident with his wife at the time of the attack.

On the night of the attempted murder, Mrs Black was at home in Burns Wynd, Musselburgh, with her children when friend Ms Petrie visited.

Ms Petrie left to go home after 1am but found two tyres on her car were flat and decided to stay overnight.

She headed to the garden for a cigarette, but as she opened the door, Black barged in.

Advocate depute Alison Di Rollo told the court: “He said nothing, pushed past her and she fell face-down on the kitchen floor.

“From behind her the accused leaned over the top of her and started striking her repeatedly with a knife.

“The attack lasted five minutes.

“Blood was pouring from her injuries and it is estimated she lost half a litre of blood.”

Ms Petrie managed to crawl to a phone and dial 999 before Black began stabbing her in the back and put his hands around her neck.

A neighbour who heard the screams found Black 
strangling Ms Petrie and made a further 999 call. He then went upstairs and tried to kick down the bathroom door as his wife hid inside.

When police arrived, they found Ms Petrie slumped in a chair covered in blood. She was taken to hospital where she underwent a six-hour operation.

Black, a plumber from Tranent, admitted attempting to murder Ms Petrie on September 15 last year. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife and causing her fear and alarm between June 2 and September 15.

Defence counsel Donald Findlay QC said Black had been hit by illness, the loss of his business and the break-up of his marriage.

He said that Black “totally lost his way” and formed a desperate desire to save his marriage.

He described Ms Petrie as a “wholly innocent victim” who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.