A WOMAN who was forced to sleep in a loft and use a bucket as a toilet by her abusive boyfriend has been spared jail despite drunkenly attacking him with a knife.

Kellie Mather inflicted three knife wounds on boyfriend Martin Wright on January 16.

But yesterday (WED) Judge Peter Davies said even though the offence would normally automatically merit a custodial sentence this was an “exceptional” case.

He added it was clear Mr Wright had used provocation, violence, abuse and intimidation to Mather, who has no previous convictions.

Mather, aged 41, of Pewfist, Westhoughton, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

A court heard how police officers found Mather wrapped in a duvet in a loft and were greeted by Mr Wright, “in a bad mood”, outside, carrying a Samurai sword.

She was “used to” sleeping on a makeshift bed in the loft, a court heard, and had a bucket with her in case she needed the toilet.

The court was told Mather and Mr Wright had been in a relationship for many years.

She told police in interview that she suffered from depression and alcoholism and could not remember anything of the incident as she had been drinking.

Paul Tonge, defending, said: “She has done her best to get to the root of her problems, by seeing a GP and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“She has expressed remorse for the incident — it should never have happened.”

The court heard how Mr Wright has not cooperated with the investigation after making the initial complaint.

Daniel Travers, prosecuting, said: “He says he will go along with whatever she says.

“He says he is not bothered or interested in the court case.”

Mather pleaded guilty at an earlier plea and case management hearing.

Mr Wright called police to the home in Knutshaw Crescent, Hunger Hill, on January 16 at about 10.15pm.

Mr Wright, who a court heard has a host of previous convictions including ones related to dishonesty and drug trafficking, suffered a small puncture below the right shoulder, a 1cm wound on the back of the arm and a 2cm cut to the upper arm.

In passing sentence, Judge Davies said: “He had become so abusive that he had made you sleep in that loft so that you were required to use a bucket if you wanted to use the toilet.

“I have had the advantage of reading the history of domestic violence with Martin Wright.

“This is an exceptional case in my view because of provocation, abuse, violence and intimidation by him to you.”

The case comes as police launch a crackdown on domestic violence during the World Cup.

Officers are urging the public to report any instances of domestic abuse as the England squad prepare to start their tournament in Brazil against Italy on Saturday.

On the day England were knocked out of the 2010 tournament by Germany, police recorded 353 incidents of domestic abuse and received 5,897 calls, a 43 per cent increase on the number of 999 calls made on the average June Sunday.

And Bolton at Home has now joined forces with the police and Bolton’s Domestic Abuse and Violence Partnership to offer support to victims who fear they might be at risk.

The NHS estimates one in four women are the victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Health bosses define domestic abuse as anything threatening, physical violence, intimidation, attempts to undermine someone’s self-esteem and attempts to scare someone.

They also include attempts to control the other person by stopping them seeing friends and family, and jealous and possessive behaviour, such as being suspicious of friendships.

Anyone affected by abuse by a partner, ex-partner or a family member can approach their GP or nurse for help. The Domestic Abuse Helpline is also available to offer support for victims.

For more information or to report abuse contact police on 101 or the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 6367525.