Norwich City hero jailed

Former Norwich City hero Peter Mendham was jailed for seven-and-a-half years this morning after being sentenced for a brutal knife attack on his ex-girlfriend.

Former Norwich City hero Peter Mendham was jailed for seven-and-a-half years this morning after being sentenced for a brutal knife attack on his ex-girlfriend.

Mendham, 46, who starred in City's Milk Cup Final victory over Sunderland in 1985 at Wembley and who until recently worked as a high profile fundraiser for the East Anglian Air Ambulance admitted the attack on Charlotte Hyam, with whom he was having a relationship.

The former midfielder seriously wounded her after stabbing her once in the back with a kitchen knife at his home at Whitlingham Lane, Trowse on October 18 last year. Ms Hyam, 39, is still suffering the physical effects of the attack

He pleaded guilty last month to wounding with intent and an alternative charge of attempted murder which he denies was ordered to lie on file. He was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court.

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Mendham and Ms Hyam had been having a meal together at his home address on the night of the incident when they became involved in an argument. He then stabbed Charlotte as she was trying to leave the house.

Police officers were called to the address just before 8.20pm.

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They found Mendham lying on the front lawn covered in blood and Ms Hyam collapsed and unconscious on the floor in the hallway of his cottage. She had been stabbed in the back with a kitchen knife.

Mendham dialled 999 to call an ambulance to the scene and before losing consciousness Ms Hyam was able to speak to her mother on the telephone who in turn had dialled 999 to alert police.Officers and ambulance staff then responded on an emergency call.

Ms Hyam was rushed to hospital in a serious condition. Due to a life-threatening haemorrhage she underwent major emergency surgery in which a kidney was removed.

Fortunately, despite initial fears that the injuries would prove fatal, she survived the incident thanks to swift treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and by the paramedic who was first on scene.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Gary Bloomfield said: “This was a horrific ordeal for the victim in this case and is one of the most serious domestic violence incidents we have seen in Norwich in recent years.

“Charlotte suffered serious injuries - she has lost a kidney and will have to live the physical and emotional consequences for the rest of her life.

“It is extremely fortunate that she was not fatally injured.

“I hope this case highlights the fact that police will deal swiftly and robustly with anyone who inflicts a violent injury like this on another person.

“I hope anyone who is a victim of any kind of violence within a relationship will be encouraged to come forward safe in the knowledge that these serious crimes will be dealt with positively.”

t After the sentencing, Charlotte Hyam issued the following statement:

“My thoughts and fears throughout this horrible incident have always been for my young daughter, who was very nearly left without a mother.

Both she and I will have to bear the physical and emotional scars of what happened on that night for the rest of our lives.

Peter and I did have an argument but I didn't deserve what he did to me, no-one has the right to inflict such awful violence on another person.

He is a man who I had looked up to and who said he loved me and my daughter, but ultimately he was capable of and prepared to carry out a vicious attack on me.

I feel extremely fortunate that I survived it and I hope now that my daughter and I can get on with our lives.

I would like to thank the doctors who saved me, the police who have supported me throughout the investigation and court proceedings, and the court for making Peter pay for what he did.”

t Charlotte's mother also issued the following statement:

“We cannot begin to tell of the awful and terrible pain that Charlotte has suffered due to this horrific incident.

On the 18th October last year, my daughter called me crying down the phone, she told me she had been stabbed in the back by Peter Mendham and begged me to call the ambulance, she asked me to look after children and to tell them how much she loved them both.

I remember arriving at the hospital and all the family were called into a room together and told to get ready to say goodbye to her as they did not expect her to live.

You cannot imagine the pain we all felt as we stood and joined hands and prayed for her.

My little granddaughter's face as she stood beside her mother in the hospital will be with me forever. Charlotte is a beautiful young mother who now bares the most brutal physical scares from this and also the emotional scars will be with her and her children for the rest of their lives.

Charlotte trusted Peter Mendham and her little daughter looked up to this so called football hero, but both were to be let down, in the most brutal cold blooded way possible.

We are all thankful that Charlotte is still with us and for that we would like to thank the paramedics, doctors and all the staff that were involved in saving her life. Also to the police, who have been a great support to Charlotte and also to her family throughout this awful ordeal.

We would only ask that Charlotte and her children be left in peace to try and rebuild their lives.”

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