A TOP court prosecutor from Worcester has been jailed for six years after trying to kill his wife in a frenzied knife attack as she lay in bed.

Iain Farrimond, of Battenhall, viciously attacked his wife Tina after a bout of depression brought on by work pressures at the Crown Prosecution Service.

After stabbing her five times with a kitchen knife at their home in Battenhall Road, the 54-year-old picked up an ornamental cat and beat her with it, only stopping the brutal assault after she pleaded with him.

Farrimond told police he intended his attack, in the early hours of May 26, to be the "day of death".

At Nottingham Crown Court yesterday Farrimond, who had penned a suicide note at their house, was jailed for six years after admitting attempted murder.

The court heard how, in the run-up to the attack, Farrimond had returned from work and he and his wife enjoyed a normal night in.

Emlyn Jones, prosecuting, said the couple chatted about plans for their wedding anniversary which fell on May 27 and had booked the weekend away to celebrate.

Farrimond's wife went to bed first but became aware of her husband "tossing and turning".

Mr Jones described what she said happened next: "She awoke because she could 'feel something on me'.

"She found her husband had armed himself with a large knife and was stabbing her in the face and head - she screamed out, but he continued.

"She fought him off and managed to disarm him, but he took up a large ornamental cat and began to strike Mrs Farrimond to the head."

His wife managed to get to the bathroom while Farrimond called 999 and went downstairs into the garden equipped with another large knife, which he then turned on himself.

During an eight-minute call to the emergency operator he said "I can't go on", explaining how he had stabbed his wife "really badly" but "just couldn't do it".

The court was told that the call-taker could hear Farrimond's wife crying in the background.

He later told officers: "I thought today was going to be the day of death. I couldn't get that right."

After being taken to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital he told doctors: "I tried to kill my wife, I tried to kill myself, I was going to kill us all."

Farrimond, who had been prescribed anti-depressants, told officers he intended his fatal attack to be quick but "to his horror, she awoke".

The Crown's barrister added the motive for Farrimond's attack "had been his increasing feeling that he couldn't cope at work".

The court heard a statement from his wife who said Farrimond had been "the perfect husband" and was "the most loving, caring person I know".

She added: "I love him very much - I want him to receive the medical treatment he needs."

The court was told his wife, who suffered five stab wounds and a fractured eye-socket, had enjoyed a "remarkably successful" recovery from her injuries.

Judge Gregory Dickinson described it as a sad case committed while the attacker was "in the grip of severe depressive illness".

Mr Dickinson said Farrimond had "worked hard in an important and demanding role" with the CPS for 23 years before his depression took hold.

The judge told him: "Your intention was to kill your wife and commit suicide - forgive me, but thank God you failed."