A BARNSLEY man who left two sisters mentally and physically scarred following an unprovoked frenzy of brutal violence at a Christmas gathering has been jailed for 16 years.
David Fairweather only stopped punching, choking and stabbing his first victim when her older sister lay on top of her in a courageous attempt to shield her from his blows.
The older sister was then stabbed three times herself and left with injuries so severe she remained in hospital almost five months after the attack.
The younger victim’s young sons, aged eight and nine, heard the commotion and came downstairs to find their mum and auntie in a pool of blood. The brave youngsters raised the alarm and were able to give enough details for the emergency services to find the scene.
Fairweather, aged 44, formerly of Princess Street, Barnsley, admitted two counts of section 18 wounding following the horrific incident on 12 December 2021. He was today handed a 16-year sentence at Sheffield Crown Court.
DS Becky Robinson, investigating, said: “Even as experienced detectives, there are some cases which will stay on your mind for a very long time to come - and this is one of them.
“This horrendous ordeal was the stuff of nightmares. The two sisters, who had invited Fairweather over for a pre-Christmas drink, have been left with life-changing physical and psychological injuries, while the two little boys who watched their mum slip out of consciousness are also receiving ongoing support.”
The court heard that Fairweather had been invited to the younger sister’s house in Cudworth, Barnsley. As the evening unfolded, and totally unprovoked, Fairweather attacked the younger sister by punching and choking her. The older sister intervened and Fairweather continued his assault on both sisters.
He then grabbed a knife from the kitchen drawer and slashed the younger sister’s face and arms. Although she fought back to defend herself, Fairweather kept hold of the knife and punched her to the floor and stabbed her twice.
At this point, the second victim laid on top of her younger sister in an attempt to protect her from harm, and suffered three stab wounds to the back.
DS Robinson said: “It is believed that this is the point when the young boys came downstairs, finding their mum and aunt bleeding on the kitchen floor. Their mum was able to tell the boys to phone the police before she became unresponsive.
“Both boys were simply heroic. The nine-year-old boy told Fairweather he was phoning the police and to get out, which caused him to flee the address.
“On the phone, the boy told the ambulance call handler what had happened and described his mum and auntie as laying in pools of blood, not moving or talking. He told the call handler he was scared they were going to die. Despite the unimaginable situation, he was able to give enough detail for police and ambulance crews to attend the address quickly and both victims were rushed to hospital.”
Fairweather was later found by police hiding in a nearby church yard.
The younger sister was discharged from hospital the day after the incident but has suffered significant psychological trauma ever since. Neither she nor her sons have been able to return home.
The older sister remained in hospital for almost five months after suffering injuries to her liver, lung, bowel and bladder. During that time she spent 15 days in a coma in intensive care. Both victims also have permanent scarring to their arms, legs and faces.
DS Robinson added: “While nothing can heal their trauma, I am satisfied with today’s sentence and the knowledge Fairweather will be exactly where he belongs for many, many years to come.”