Woman recalls how her husband stabbed her at a shopping mall while pregnant

A woman recalled the devastating moment her husband repeatedly stabbed her at a supermarket, killing her unborn baby.

Laura McCarten, 27, was working on a checkout at an Asda store when Paul McCarten, 35, knifed her three times in front of horrified shoppers.

But she Laura somehow survived the harrowing ordeal in January 2002 by a "miracle" and thanks to the intervention of a heroic customer.

And she summoned up the courage to give evidence against her tormentor at a trial that June, leading to him being jailed for 11 years.

This week, the serial woman beater was locked up again, over a campaign of domestic abuse against yet another traumatised partner.

The extent of his disturbing past has now been detailed, which includes the knife attack caught on CCTV, which left Merseyside stunned.

He "pistol-whipped" his estranged wife, had a gun buried in his garden, and threatened to shoot another woman dead.

And it explains why every woman in the city should know his face.

Security cameras captured the moment evil McCarten entered the Asda Huyton store, at around 5.30pm, on January 17, 2002.

They recorded McCarten walking over to Laura and chatting to her at a till, just weeks after she left the love rat because of an affair.

Terrified shoppers could be seen wincing as he then pulled out a seven inch kitchen knife and brought it down from above his head.

He first plunged the blade into his estranged wife's back, between her shoulder blades, as onlookers edged away from the assault.

McCarten struck out again - this time punching the blade through her heart - before chaos took over, as he slashed at her arm.

Miraculously, the victim managed to get to her feet, before McCarten was confronted by brave Kenneth Dawick, a customer in his 60s.

Mr Dawick, who suffered rib injuries when he grappled with the knifeman, forced the would-be killer to drop the blade.

He was hurled to the floor by McCarten, but his heroics gave Laura - who was losing blood by the pint a chance to start running.

McCarten tried to escape but was rugby tackled by an Asda security guard, who risked his own life to prevent any further bloodshed.

The footage showed the guard escort McCarten to a side room, where the knifeman calmly lit a cigarette and waited for police to arrive.

Laura was led to safety in another room by a colleague, as blood poured from her wounds, and paramedics took her away on a stretcher.

During a five-day trial, the heartbroken victim revealed she miscarried two days after the stabbing - having been trying for a child for four years.

She said the attack was one of "too many to remember" and claimed her husband once "pistol-whipped" her until blood gushed from her head.

Laura said he also strangled her until she passed out, and gave her two black eyes, just days before their wedding in the Dominican Republic.

She explained how she learned her husband was having an affair and finally left him on Christmas Day 2001, because of his cheating ways.

Liverpool Crown Court heard McCarten was undeterred and continued to phone his estranged wife, then sent her threatening text messages.

Laura said: "He phoned me and he said 'is it over?'. I said 'yes' and he said, 'you've just signed your own death warrant'."

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