Disgust at girlfriend killer's jail sentence

DEVASTATED relatives of a woman slashed to death by her junkie boyfriend in a "severe and ruthless" knife attack have branded his 11-year jail term "disgusting".

Heroin addict Jason Goodwin, aged 35, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court.

He inflicted more than 100 injuries on Joanne Cooley, 27, stabbing her in both eyes with a pair of scissors, cutting her jugular vein, and slashing her wrist to, according to him, "put her out of pain".

Det Insp John Cousins, who led the investigation, said it was the worst level of violence he had seen in his 17-year police career.

But after Goodwin was locked up for 11 years – of which he will serve just five-and-a-half, minus time already spent on remand – Joanne's brother Lee Cooley said: "I am disgusted with what has happened. He's got 11 years for killing my sister in cold blood."

Joanne's sister Leanne Cooley added: "Joanne will never come back but in five years he's going to come out. Our family has got to live without her for the rest of their lives.

"We loved that girl and she will never be forgotten."

Their father John Cooley said: "This has not just devastated one life, it has devastated a whole family which will never be the same again."

Goodwin, of Fieldside, Thorne, Doncaster, claimed he had been provoked by Joanne brandishing a breadknife at him during an argument at their flat on November 27 last year.

Jailing him, Judge Michael Murphy QC said he was bound by the law, the jury's verdict, and Goodwin's early guilty plea to the manslaughter charge.

He said Goodwin had used a "frightening level of violence" against Joanne who had regarded him as "the love of her life".

"She was sadly and mistakenly wrong about that," he added.

Goodwin hung his head as Judge Murphy continued: "You ended the life of a young woman who might have been about to turn her life around and rid herself of drugs."

The judge drew back from locking Goodwin up indefinitely for the protection of the public but said: "Domestic violence of this ferocity and intensity always makes a court think of an indeterminate sentence.

"I am sure the provocation was of a very low level over a very short period of time.

"Your response was of the most severe and ruthless nature that can possibly be within the limits of a defence of provocation.

"You mutilated the body of the victim, you took away and disposed of the knife, and you made no attempt to contact the emergency services.

"You arranged things so you weren't discovered for some time, and you climbed out of the window taking with you food and toiletries.

"I've seen you weeping during the trial but I do not detect any true deep-seated remorse."

The court heard Goodwin knocked Miss Cooley out before stabbing her in the head, neck and wrist.

She suffered bruising all over her body consistent with kicking or stamping but the fatal injury was the knife cut to the jugular vein in her neck.

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