A MAN has been jailed for life for a frenzied unprovoked knife attack on a friend.

Victim Doreen Winstanley, aged 51, had to be resuscitated after Martin Cullen, aged 48, stabbed her 11 times with a kitchen knife at her home in Davenport Gardens, School Hill, Bolton.

Peter Barr, prosecuting said that Cullen had been drinking at Ms Winstanley's home along with two other men, James Kirk and Jonathan Moore throughout the day on Sunday, November 16 last year.

Manchester Crown Court heard Cullen, who drank about three litres of strong cider and half a litre of whisky, “jumped up” and grabbed Mr Kirk around the throat with both hands.

He then smashed up items in the living room including china ornaments and a stereo. Both men left the home fearing for their safety.

Mr Barr said: “He was described as being in a rage, crying, ranting then saying sorry.”

Cullen then got a knife from the kitchen then stabbed the victim in the face, chest, abdomen and hands, the court heard yesterday.

Ms Winstanley was found sitting on the settee “bleeding profusely” when Mr Kirk returned to check on his friend.

Cullen was arrested at the scene after being found curled up in a kitchen unit.

Ms Winstanley spent seven days in hospital where she was treated for a punctured lung and other injuries.

The attack has left her suffering from panic attacks, insomnia and depression, as well as feeling fearful in her home.

Graham Robinson, defending, said Cullen, of no fixed address, has suffered with alcoholism for most of his adult life.

He said the incident has given him an insight into how he needs to deal with his problem.

He has been offered the support of his former wife on his release from prison, the court heard.


Cullen had 25 convictions for affray, theft and being drunk and disorderly.

He admitted causing wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on the day he was due to stand trial for attempting to murder his victim.

Judge David Stockdale QC, sentencing, said: “It was wholly unprovoked. There is and was no known reason for the attack and no reason for the frenzied attack shortly before.

“Ms Winstanley was very fortunate to escape this with her life.”

He added: “She demonstrates a defiant willingness to live in her home and to not be defeated by you. She is a brave woman.”

Cullen was jaield for life and must serve a minimum of five years and three months before he is eligible to apply for release. If he is released he will be on licence indefinitely.