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'Danger to women' Knife thug was working for security firm despite conviction for stabbing ex

We can reveal 53-year-old Howe failed to tell the global security company about his conviction for stabbing his ex-partner in the head three times.

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David Howe pictured outside his home in Ballybeen.

David Howe pictured outside his home in Ballybeen.

David Howe pictured outside his home in Ballybeen.

A crazed woman-hating knife thug who sparked a legal row because a judge was unable to jail him for longer was still working for a security firm this week despite being convicted.

Belfast man David Howe's employers G4S finally sacked him after the Sunday World pointed out they were still employing the convicted domestic abuser.

We can reveal 53-year-old Howe failed to tell the global security company about his conviction for stabbing his ex-partner in the head three times.

We became concerned Howe was still working when we confronted him at his door in Belfast to ask him about his recent conviction and 18-month jail sentence.

He answered the door wearing his work issued G4S polo shirt, leading us to inquire with the company if they knew about his conviction for serious violence.

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David Howe pictured outside his home in Ballybeen.

David Howe pictured outside his home in Ballybeen.

David Howe pictured outside his home in Ballybeen.

And we can reveal they had no idea until we told them, as Howe failed to alert his employer - in breach of the terms of his SIA Security Licence.

Howe has since been suspended and will almost certainly be sacked.

Last night G4S told the Sunday World: "G4S only employs security officers that possess a valid SIA licence which is issued by the UK Security Industry Authority. This employee has held an SIA licence throughout his employment with G4S."

"As soon as we confirmed that he had a conviction, the employee was immediately suspended from his duties."

Howe is the thug a furious judge had wanted to jail for years last week - but couldn't after a PPS cock-up.

Described by the judge as "a danger to women", he was sentenced for a series of offences after a shocking incident where he used a knife to stab an ex- partner in the head three times.

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His case caused the judge to lose his rag and lambast the Public Prosecution Service for not prosecuting him in the higher Crown Court, where he could have potentially sent Howe to jail for seven years.

Instead Howe, who contested the issue but lost earlier this year, was prosecuted in the lower magistrates court in Newtownards where Judge DJ Mark Hamill sentenced him to 18 months behind bars, though he was released to appeal even that.

The angry judge said: "This is the worst case I have come across in 22 years on the bench."

In total, the security guard was convicted of wounding his victim, possessing a kitchen knife with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault and making a threat to kill on October 18 last year.

After the judged branded the PPS "utterly inept" and accusing it of not taking domestic violence seriously, the PPS admitted it had blundered, saying it should have sent it to the higher court.

This week we confronted Howe at his Craigleith Drive home in the Ballybeen estate, east Belfast.

Incredibly Howe - despite having been present at the sentence hearing last week - seemed completely in the dark about what was happening with his case.

In fact when we told him about the 18-month jail sentence he didn't seem to even be aware.

When asked if he felt he had got off lightly with an 18-month sentence he replied: "I really don't know what's happening with the case. I know the judge went mad and wanted to send me to jail for far longer."

When asked if he was worried about going to jail and if he regretted his actions he replied: "What happened happened and I can't turn the clock back, I'm glad the case is over and I'll leave it in the hands of my solicitor."

Howe answered his door wearing a G4S work polo shirt and, incredibly, Howe had continued working for the security company, despite his conviction for attacking a defenceless woman and his subsequent jail sentence.

Howe's victim was a former partner and she bravely told the court she met him by coincidence and, on his invitation, went to his accommodation for drinks.

While the evening started off fine, out of the blue Howe produced a knife and attacked her, threatening to kill her as he stabbed her in the head as she tried to fend him off.

Fleeing the property, the bleeding woman managed to alert police. Officers who arrived at the scene gave her first aid and arrested Howe.

Judge Hamill lit on the PPS during the sentence hearing, saying: "What does it take to get a case to the Crown Court when you have domestic violence involving the use of a knife?

"I savaged that decision then [at the contest] and I do that again now. This suggests that the PPS does not take domestic violence seriously.

"I'm horrified and shocked that a case involving not just the threat of a knife but the use of a knife, stabbing a woman three times in the head, [has not been taken to a higher court]."

The maximum sentence for simple wounding is a year in jail, but in the Crown Court the offence carries a maximum seven-year jail sentence.

The furious attack from the judge forced the PPS to address the issue, saying it took "cases involving domestic violence and abuse extremely seriously".

"We work with our partners and stakeholders to continuously improve the way in which these cases are dealt within the criminal justice system and the experience of victims," a spokeswoman said.

"In this case, the decision was taken to prosecute the case in the Magistrates Court. Having further considered the selection of venue, it is accepted that it may have been more appropriate for the matter to have been prosecuted in the Crown Court.

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