'Monstrous' couple who tried to murder their friend are jailed

‘Monstrous’ couple who tried to murder their friend in ‘inhuman’ attack which left victim ‘begging for his life’ are jailed for total of 50 years

  • Paul Binks was brutally stabbed by his friends in a torture-style attack
  • Jon Hamblin and Jessica Whinham have been jailed for a total of 50 years 

A monstrous couple who tried to murder their friend in a sickening torture-style attack have been jailed.

Jon Hamblin, 43, and Jessica Whinham, 21, subjected Paul Binks to a horrifying ordeal in which he woke to find he had been stabbed and left with his intestines hanging out as he slept on a sofa in Whinham’s North Shields flat.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Whinham then deliberately played a song that she knew her victim disliked before telling him it would be the ‘last song you’ll ever hear.’ 

Mr Binks was then strangled with a cord before he was put in a bath and told he would be drowned during the horrendous ordeal in North Shields, Tyne and Wear in September 2021.

He managed to escape from the flat while ‘holding his guts in’ and knock on a nearby door before almost dying as he was rushed to hospital.

Jon Hamblin, 43, subjected his friend Paul Binks to a horrific torture-style attack. He has now been jailed for 29 years for attempted murder

Hamblin and Whinham tried to blame each other for what police labelled ‘inhuman’ violence but both were found guilty of attempted murder after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court last year.

Today, Hamblin was jailed for 29 years and Whinham was jailed for 21 years.

During the trial, Mr Binks described the horrific attack which he said has left him psychologically and physically scarred. 

Mr Binks said that when he woke up in the couple’s flat: ‘I looked down and pulled my top up and there was a tube, my intestine. I was trying to push it back in. I remember him [Hamblin] trying to go for my throat and I put my hand up.

‘He was standing over me with a knife, I couldn’t understand. I thought I was dreaming. I started thinking I’m badly injured here. I was bleeding profusely.

‘Jess [Whinham] was mopping up the blood. There was a bit of flesh. I thought it was my liver. I was in a dream-like state. It was so surreal. Jess took the bit of flesh off me and put it in the bucket. Jess said: ‘We’ve got your heart out, it’s in the bucket.’

‘I had no strength at all, my guts were hanging out. I think I went into survival mode. I remember thinking: ‘I’m not dying here, I need to survive.”

Mr Binks said Whinham said: ‘It’s done, it’s done, you’re dead, it’s over, you’re dead.’ He added: ‘I honestly thought he was going to kill me.’

The horrified victim added Whinham was ‘trying to wind me up’ and played a song he had previously told her he disliked, saying it was ‘the last song you’ll ever hear’. 

Hamblin then put a phone charger around his neck and tightened it with his foot on his back, to the point he heard it creaking before the couple moved him to the bath.

Jessica Whinham, 21, reportedly mocked Mr Binks as he lay with his organs exposed, playing music he disliked while telling him it was the ‘last song you’ll hear’. She has been jailed for 21 years for attempted murder

Mr Binks said: ‘Jon [Hamblin] put the hot water on and said he was going to drown me. I said: ‘No, no, don’t drown me, it’s one of my worst fears.’ I said ‘just stab me’. He said: ‘It’s dead peaceful man, you will be alright, you are going to die anyway, you might as well have a peaceful death.”

Mr Binks said Whinham complained her gas was being ‘wasted on you’ by using hot water so swapped it to running the cold tap.  

Hamblin told him he was ‘basically already dead’ and said he was going to ‘chop me up and put me all over North Tyneside.’ After promising not to tell anyone what they had done, Mr Binks was eventually told he could leave.

Mr Binks said: ‘I was gurgling, spitting out blood. I asked him to help me up. He said I couldn’t go unless I got myself out of the bath.’

He said a surge of adrenaline helped him get out but he ‘remembered it ripping more’ as he did so. 

Mr Binks added: ‘I was keeping hold of my guts so I was keeping them in.’

After pleading for his life, Mr Binks was eventually allowed to leave and turned up bleeding heavily at a shocked couple’s home in the early hours of the morning and nearly died on his way to hospital.

As the pair were sentenced, victim impact statements from Mr Binks outlined the devastating impact his shocking ordeal has had on him.

In a statement after the trial, Mr Binks said he ‘sees them [the defendants] everywhere I go’, adding: ‘I still get pain in my back and stomach where the scars are. Physically I’ve healed quite well but his has changed me as a person forever.’

(File Photo) A judge at Newcastle Crown Court branded the couple dangerous and said they must serve at least two-thirds of their sentences behind bars

Mr Binks added that he rarely leaves the house, is terrified if anyone comes up behind him, and barricades himself into his home and takes weapons into his bedroom.

He also has recurrent dreams, sometimes of being back in a room with his attackers and it happening again and he feels like he is dying.

John Elvidge KC, prosecuting, argued there was ‘an element of torture’ and a ‘sadistic’ element to the attack, which he said involved ‘gratuitous degradation’ – but a judge ruled it did not involve sadistic conduct.

Mr Binks suffered seven separate knife wounds, including to his ear, chest, back and arm and one of them had gone into his liver. 

He also had a compression injury to his neck consistent with the charging cable being used as a ligature. 

The air ambulance arrived and he had no pulse on the way to hospital.

Hamblin, of Stirling Drive, North Shields, has 63 previous convictions, including for robbery, assault, affray, aggravated burglary, and attempted robbery. 

Whinham, of Stanley Street West, North Shields, has no previous convictions. 

Judge Robert Adams branded the couple as dangerous and said they must serve at least two-thirds of their sentences behind bars. They were both also given indefinite restraining orders.

Jamie Hill KC, mitigating for Hamblin, said he continues to protest his innocence, adding: ‘Mr Hamblin is a prisoner with enhanced status and has had a number of trusted jobs in the kitchen and customer service department in Durham Prison, demonstrating a completely different side to his character.’

Jonathan Cousins, mitigating for Whinham, acknowledged it was a ‘cruel and sickening ordeal’ that Mr Binks suffered.

He said his client was immature and endured trauma at a young age, adding: ‘That led to a troubled and damaged young woman trying to mask her trauma by consuming as many drugs as she could, which led to a very chaotic lifestyle.’

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