A MAN who stabbed his girlfriend in a “frenzied attack” at their home then fell from a second-floor balcony seriously injuring himself has been detained indefinitely in hospital.

Steven John Best, 48, who has mental health problems, attacked his partner Julia Wagstaff at their Portland home in what a judge described as an "appalling incident of violence".

Ms Wagstaff is lucky to be alive, a court heard.

Best admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court yesterday, where a judge heard the defendant was withdrawing from an opiate drug addiction at the time of the attack on September 10 last year.

He had previously been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but had failed to take his anti-psychotic medication for three months prior to the attack at the East Weare Road flat.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said Best had screamed at Ms Wagstaff before getting a knife from the kitchen and “stabbing her all over,” including a “hard” stab wound to her head.

Best also punched her in the face and dragged her around by her hair, while telling her he was going to “finish her off”, the court heard.

Ms Wagstaff moved to the balcony of the second-floor flat where neighbours recalled seeing Best kneeled over her with her face covered in blood.

A neighbour also saw Best punch Ms Wagstaff in the face three or four times, as well as jumping up and down on her leg.

When police arrived, they saw Best lunge towards Ms Wagstaff with a knife before leaning over the balcony and falling around 25 to 30 feet.

Best was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital while Ms Wagstaff was taken to Dorset County Hospital. She had to undergo facial surgery for her injuries.

The court heard that Best had previously been discharged from the Mental Health Act in 2016.

Dr Jane Collier, forensic psychiatrist at a secure unit for adults with severe mental health illnesses, told the court how Best had fallen into drug addiction as he lived a more independent life.

She explained that he had stopped taking medication to treat his schizophrenia around three months before the attack.

Although health professionals were aware of this, no preventative action was taken.

Judge Keith Cutler said: “The concern that I have is that everyone was aware that he was back on a number of drugs and had three months of not taking his medication. Everybody knew but did absolutely nothing about it.”

Ms Collier urged the court to section Best which would see him return to a mental health hospital for treatment rather than going to prison.

Sentencing Best, Judge Cutler said: “This was an appalling incident of violence.

“It just shows how dangerous and volatile you can be. It involved frenzied stabbing using an eight-inch kitchen knife. Ms Wagstaff received a number of stab injuries, she is lucky to be alive.

“The fact of this offence demonstrates to me there is a significant risk to members of the public.

“You must know that as a 48-year-old man with your background, when you are given medication you must take it. You have many years left of your life. There will come a time when you must do what is required of you.”

The judge made a section 37 order against Best which means he will return to the mental health hospital for psychiatric treatment. He also imposed a section 41 restriction order meaning he must stay in the hospital indefinitely due to the high risk he poses to the public.