23/12/2011 15:48 GMT | Updated 23/12/2011 15:54 GMT

Robert Mackenzie Wilson Jailed For Biting Off Girlfriend Jane Ireland's Nose - But They Are Still Together

The girlfriend of a man jailed indefinitely for biting off her nose is still in a relationship with him, a court heard today.

Robert Mackenzie Wilson, 39, was on licence from a life sentence when he launched his brutal assault on Jane Ireland after calling her "fat".

Knife-wielding Wilson then fled into woods overnight near her home in Padiham, Lancashire, on July 18 last year.

The following day he emerged to hold a woman at knifepoint in her home as he demanded her car keys and then caused a village primary school to go on "lockdown" as he wandered at large.

Wilson was finally apprehended near the school but not before charging towards an officer, who fired two shots from a Taser without effect.

He later told detectives that he had wanted them to shoot him dead - effectively "suicide by cop".

Burnley Crown Court heard that Wilson had been in a relationship with Ms Ireland for four months after his release a year earlier by a parole board from a life term for two separate convictions for wounding.

She said theirs was a "good relationship" only blighted by the "odd comment" from the defendant.

Her nose was recovered from the scene but could not be stitched on and it was eventually reconstructed with the aid of a flap of skin from her forehead.

Gillian Crossley, defending, said Ms Ireland was still in a relationship with Wilson and continued to visit him in prison and was "supportive of him".

It was her view that Wilson was a man who needed help rather than punishment, she said.

"This defendant knows that Jane Ireland lives with the consequences of what he did," she said.

"He sees the consequences of what he has done to her and he sees the psychological and physical impact."

Wilson was sentenced to a minimum of seven years for public protection and will not be released until it is deemed he is no longer a risk of committing further serious offences.

He pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to wounding with intent, carrying an offensive weapon, aggravated burglary and assault with intent to resist arrest.

Sentencing him today, Judge Jonathan Gibson said Wilson was "plainly a dangerous offender".

Katherine Johnson, prosecuting, said mother-of-three Ms Ireland awoke at her home in Hapton Road with the defendant's fingers down her throat and then felt an "excruciating pain".

"This was the point when Mr Wilson had bitten off most of her nose," she said.

The victim's 14-year-old daughter was awoken by screaming and witnessed a scene in the bedroom "like a horror movie" as her mother and Wilson were covered in blood.

Both managed to flee the house as Wilson took hold of a large carving knife in pursuit.

A neighbour saw him naked in the street, whispering his partner's name, before he disappeared.

He hid in woods overnight and emerged in the nearby village of Simonstone the following morning.

Wilson entered the home of a woman in Bank Terrace - still naked - and demanded her car keys as he raised the knife above his head.

She too managed to flee as Wilson went on to put on a pair of her jeans and a jacket. He attempted to make off in her vehicle but crashed it while reversing.

Wilson then took off on foot and was next sighted in Clough Lane near to St Peter's CE Primary School at about 10am.

Armed officers were deployed and Wilson was told to drop the knife but he responded by shouting "Come on" and making a sound like a police siren.

One officer fired a Taser twice at him in the chest and back but Wilson continued to approach him and they grappled on the floor.

He was finally detained when back-up arrived.

When arrested Wilson still had the barb of the Taser stuck in his back as he told them the weapon was "f****** shit".

Wilson, formerly of Burnley, was jailed for 33 months in 1994 for wounding with intent when he attacked the new boyfriend of an ex-partner.

In March 2003, he was given a life term for three counts of wounding - the stabbings of his then girlfriend and two neighbours who came to her aid.

The court heard that he secured his release on parole after overcoming his problems with alcohol, drugs and anger.

Alcohol was the trigger for his latest crimes and, with the benefit of hindsight, he now realised none of it would have happened if he had not had a drink, Miss Crossley said.