A Coventry man who stabbed a young mother 20 times with a screwdriver in front of her 19-month-old daughter has been sent by a judge to a psychiatric hospital for assessment.

The attack carried out by Jonathan Simpson (35) on 28 year-old Sarah Moule at her home was "chilling", Judge Graham Cottle said at Exeter Crown Court. Simpson earlier admitted trying to murder Mrs Moore at her home in Exmouth, Devon, in July last year.

Mrs Moule, who attended the hearing, was stabbed in the head, neck and arms with a screwdriver by Simpson after he tricked his way into her home.

The judge ordered that Simpson, from Longford, should be detained under the Mental Health Act in a psychiatric unit for three months for assessment.

He made the order after hearing from defence consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Ian Russell that Simpson had been suffering from a persistent delusional disorder for 12 years.

Dr Russell said he believed Simpson "was not in his right mind" when he attacked Mrs Moule.

After the hearing, Devon and Cornwall Police family liaison officer Jeff Merrett said it was believed Simpson had a grudge against Mrs Moule's husband, Andrew - with whom he worked in Devon 12 years ago before moving to Coventry. On the day of the attack, Simpson drove from Coventry to Exmouth, where he bought a screwdriver, and telephoned the Moules' home to make sure someone was at home.

He tricked his way in by saying he was delivering a meal, although none had been ordered, said Mr Merrett.