A ST JOHN Ambulance volunteer who stabbed her ex-fiance four times at the wheel, during an “outburst of aggression”, has avoided jail.

Vicky Caskey, 29, plunged her Swiss Army knife into Paul Lawrence’s arm and hand after he rebuffed her pleas for a “hug”.

The pair, who had called off their engagement, but had remained friends, had been for a drink at the Hawk pub, Battlesbridge and were on their way home when Caskey “snapped” and pulled out the knife, yelling “you hurt me!”

Sentencing her at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Judge Christopher Mitchell said he was sparing Caskey instant jail because of her history of depression and physical disabilities.

The court heard Caskey, of Mirimar Close, Canvey, has below average intelligence and mobility problems.

She had been a volunteer for St John Ambulance and used the Swiss Army knife she was given as part of her kit.

Caskey had texted Mr Lawrence to invite him for drink on the evening of January 14 last year.

She told him she was celebrating after securing a job as a care home worker on Canvey, however this was not true.

After spending the evening drinking, Caskey, who had downed three glasses of wine asked Lawrence for a “hug” outside the pub.

The court heard he refused as he didn’t want to “send the wrong signals”.

The stabbing took place as the car neared Sadlers Farm roundabout.

Caskey pulled the knife out of her bag after she “pictured Mr Lawrence with another woman”.

She stabbed him so hard the tendons in his hand severed.

Mr Lawrence managed to pull his 4x4 over and flag down a motorist who then dialled 999.

Outside the car Caskey continued punching and kicking Mr Lawrence and told a witness: “I’m very obsessive of him”.

Mr Lawrence, a gardener, of Cranleigh Drive, Leigh, had to undergo two operations, spent five months off work and has lost the use of part of his hand as a result of the attack.

Addressing the court, Dr Phillip Joseph, a psychiatric expert from St Mary’s Hospital in London, told how Caskey had been deeply affected by the loss of her brother and sister who died within a few months of each other.

Judge Mitchell told Caskey although she had inflicted multiple stab wounds, he accepted she was deeply remorseful.

He said: “This was an exceptional case and one which a suspended sentence can be passed.”

Caskey admitted wounding with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.

She was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and a three months suspended sentence to run concurrently.

She was also banned from making contact with Mr Lawrence and from entering Southend borough.

She now plans to relocate to Clacton with her family.

Judge Mitchell added: “This is not going to be a precedent for other cases of wounding with intent that may come before this court.”