A man who attacked his partner with a Samurai sword in front of her six-year-old son has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Claire Moore had challenged Nicholas Kennedy, her partner of 20 years, after becoming suspicious that he was seeing another woman.

Kennedy, who was very drunk, became angry and agitated, picked up a Samurai sword, held it above his head and brought it down on the duvet.

It struck Miss Moore on the ankle, fracturing a bone, and she bled heavily from cuts and bruises.

Kennedy threatened to kill her if she had spoken to the other woman, prosecutor Philip Lee told Truro Crown Court. There was a further argument before he fell asleep. Miss Moore left with her son and went to her mother’s home.

Kennedy, a 49-year-old aircraft engineer formerly of Tremore Road, Redruth, and now living in Somerset, pleaded guilty to unlawfully and maliciously wounding Miss Moore in Redruth last August.

Mr Lee said that Miss Moore became suspicious when she saw Kennedy had been texting another woman. Kennedy, who was working in Yeovil at the time, initially denied the relationship but Miss Moore telephoned the other woman who expressed surprise as she thought they were no longer together.

Defence counsel Piers Norsworthy referred to Kennedy’s one previous conviction, for three assaults on Miss Moore and her two sisters on Boxing Day 1997, and revealed that his client had been stabbed during that incident.

Kennedy was paying about £2,000 a month to support Miss Moore and their son, meeting the mortgage and household expenses. That would cease if he was jailed and lost his £40,000 a year job. The chances of him finding similar work would be slim.

Recorder Simon Levene told Kennedy that the domestic dispute had arisen out of his bad behaviour. The use of the sword in the child’s presence, the serious injury to Miss Moore and her being forced to leave home weighed heavily against him.

On the positive side, he had pleaded guilty, expressed remorse and was discharging his responsibilities towards Miss Moore and their son who would suffer further hardship if Kennedy went to prison. His previous conviction was many years ago and he had been on a curfew for several months.

The Recorder suspended for two years a ten-month jail sentence and ordered Kennedy to participate in an Integrated Domestic Abuse programme and a specific activity to address his alcohol problem. He will also be under supervision throughout.