‘He’s a dangerous risk to the public’

Paul Owen Henry
Paul Owen Henry

A GAINSBOROUGH man who tried to murder his ex-girlfriend just hours after he was spared jail for harassing her has been locked up indefinitely.

Paul Owen Henry, 46, from Lea Place, was found guilty of the attempted murder of Claire Louise Boswell, 44, after he was accused of attacking her with a knife at her home address on Glentham Road on the afternoon of Thursday 15th September 2011.

He was due to be sentenced in November, but sentencing was brought forward to Friday 16th October last week when a judge described Henry as ‘a dangerous risk to the public’ before telling him that he may never be released - but must serve a minimum of nine years in prison.

Following the incident, Miss Boswell was taken to hospital and treated for serious stab wounds - including ‘potentially life-threatening’ liver injuries.

Henry was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) by a judge at Lincoln Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of attempting to murder Miss Boswell by an 11-1 majority verdict.

Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told Henry: “I have no doubt you are dangerous.”

“There is a significant risk to members of the public.”

“On 15th September you were given a suspended sentence order by Lincoln Magistrates for harassment of Miss Boswell,” Judge Heath said.

He continued: “You were released from the custody of the court and made a silent phonecall to Miss Boswell.”

“You then made a phonecall to Miss Boswell on a mobile phone and told her ‘I’m out.’ I am satisfied both of those calls were to frighten her.”

Judge Heath described Henry’s account that he stabbed Miss Boswell by accident as ‘nonsense’.

“You deliberately stabbed her in attempt to kill her,” Judge Heath added.

“This incident followed several years of you making Miss Boswell’s life a misery.”

Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said that Miss Boswell, a mother of three, had been harassed by Henry for three or four years before he stabbed her - and over 40 complaints were made about him to police.

The jury was told Henry had a string of previous convictions for violence, including grievous bodily harm, assault and using a knife to cut the fingers of a male relative of his then girlfriend.

Henry was told he must serve of minimum of nine years’ imprisonment before he is considered for parole.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “We hope this conviction and sentence demonstrates Lincolnshire Police’s determination to tackle serious violence in the county.”

“We also hope it encourages victims of domestic abuse to approach us for help. The victim in the case suffered at the hands of Henry for around a decade and we hope that today’s outcome gives her the opportunity to move on with her life.”