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Mother tried to cover up son's violent Stanley knife slash attack on girlfriend

Marc Harbison (Pic: Police/Daily Mirror)
Marc Harbison (Pic: Police/Daily Mirror)

Marc Harbison launched a brutal attack on his girlfriend, including slashing her face and hitting her with a hammer, which his mother Valerie Gardner attempted to cover up.

29-year-old Harbison lost it when his partner Nicola Walker accidentally broke a keyring which contained a photo of the couple.

The thug first knocked out his girlfriend by punching her before smashing her in the leg with a hammer.

The absolutely horrendous domestic violence episode did not end there, as Harbison proceeded to slit the woman's cheek open with a Stanley knife.

A court heard that the vicious attack left Ms Walker needing 20 stitches on her face.

According to the Daily Mirror, a judge at Newcastle Crown Court labelled the defendant as "possessive, abusive, controlling and violent".

The Chronicle Live reports Judge Penny Moreland as saying:  "You caused a serious laceration from the top of her left cheek to the corner of her mouth which was to require a large number of stitches.

"She will be scarred for life as a result of what you have done."

Jonathan Devlin, prosecuting, told the court of the violent incident which began when the keyring was broken: “The defendant said that was the first picture of them together and she had smashed it.

"He punched her and she believes that caused her to lose consciousness."

The court heard that Ms Walker, who may have suffered a fit when knocked unconscious, was hammered on the thigh by her boyfriend when she came to.

Harbison then 'waved the knife about in a slashing motion', first cutting his girlfriend's neck.

Mr Devlin continued: "As she tried to move away he kept on slashing towards her. This time, the knife connected with her left cheek."

On realisation of the seriousness of his incredibly violent actions, Harbison tried to help Ms Walker before convincing her to cover up his despicable involvement.

Valerie Gardner, Harbison's mother, then pursued Ms Walker through the use of "emotional blackmail", sending a series of texts to the victim in order for her to stay quiet about the actions of Gardner's son.

For her involvement, Gardner was handed a five-month prison sentence which was suspended for 12 months, as well as 100 hours community service along with a fine of €1,500.

Judge Moreland told Harbison's mother: "Through a series of text messages and Whatsapp messages, you put pressure on Miss Walker not to pursue her complaint against your son.

"When you engaged in that exchange, I am satisfied you knew he had slashed her face with a Stanley knife.

"You must have known how afraid she would be as a result.

"You subjected her to emotional blackmail."

In her victim impact statement, Ms Walker outline her fear of Harbison getting back on the streets.

"I am worried what will happen when he gets released, that he will come back to my home and never leave me alone," she stated.

The defendant, who was also convicted of possession of heroin with intent to supply, was handed a lifelong restraining order with a six-year jail sentence.