A prison governor who almost stabbed his wife to death with a kitchen knife after she admitted she had been having an affair escaped a jail sentence yesterday.
Andrew Bartlett (48), from Codsall in Staffordshire, had already admitted attempting to murder his wife of ten years last April by trying to strangle her and then stabbing her eight or nine times.
Judge Frank Chapman, passing sentence at Wolverhampton Crown Court, said the prison governor would have faced a sentence of nine or ten years but for his "mental health problems".
Bartlett instead received an indefinite hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act and a further restriction on his release was also imposed.
Judge Chapman said: "It is plain that on that day in April last year you had been brooding. You were jealous and had become angry and had taken quite a lot of drink.
"Despite your own infidelities, you found it impossible to accept that your wife could do the same and I think these events were the principal trig-ger for you behaving as you did."
The judge said he had been "mindful" of the defendant's experience of the prison service given his job as a governor and that the position might have meant it was "easy to mimic and copy the symptoms necessary to persuade doctors that you were ill."
He added, however, that doctors were satisfied his illness was not fabricated.
Bartlett, a junior governor at Shrewsbury's Dana Prison, and his wife Debbie had started divorce proceedings, at Bartlett's instigation, shortly before the attack.
They were still living together on April 30, 2005 and the couple's two children, then aged seven and eight, and Mrs Bartlett's 14-year-old daughter from a previous relation-ship who also had a friend over, were all at the house in Codsall at the time of the attack.
The prison governor, who has no previous convictions, had been to see his GP twice before the stabbing and been prescribed anti-depressants, the court heard.