Aamer Araf repeatedly stabbed the 37-year-old woman with a kitchen knife until she lost consciousness in Mansion Drive in the early hours of 28 May, and as neighbours rushed to her aid, he took her seven-month-old son upstairs, swinging him by his legs and banging his head on the walls.
When police arrived Araf used the baby to avoid arrest, but he was Tasered to allow officers to rescue the boy and get medical help. The tot was taken to hospital in a critical condition with head injuries, with his mother who had suffered stab wounds to her face, hands and thigh, and a fractured hand.
Araf was arrested for attempted murder, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of grievous bodily harm at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (30 Apr). He was diagnosed as being a paranoid schizophrenic and was also a habitual cannabis user. The 33-year-old from Mansion Drive, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, reduced to eight years for his early guilty plea and reduced culpability. He will also serve four years on licence upon his release.
Detective Constable Deb Bullman, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: “This was dreadful incident with mother and son suffering terrible injuries, but remarkably the little boy has made an astonishing recovery, although he will still need to be monitored as he grows, to determine if there are any lasting effects.
“His mother still has physical and mental scars for which she is receiving on-going support.”
DC Bullman added: “Domestic abuse remains a key priority for us. Sadly since the start of the pandemic last year we have seen an increase of 17 per cent in domestic related incidents, but we have not reduced our response to victims.
“The force responds to more than 200 incidents per day and we remain committed to catching perpetrators.
“So we urge anyone who is not feeling safe in their own home to seek help. We have specially trained officers who work alongside support groups and charities to help survivors achieve the best outcome for them.”
You can also visit www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/domestic-abuse for support. However, if you do not feel comfortable contacting police there are many other agencies who can offer support and advice. Visit http://www.noexcuseforabuse.info/ for more information.
In recent months a new scheme has also been developed by the Home Office. ‘Ask for ANI’ (Action Needed Immediately) enables victims of domestic abuse to access immediate help from the police or other support services, from the safety of their local pharmacy.