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Holloway man stabbed woman who ‘refused to kiss’

Charity says prison sentences must ‘reflect the severity’ of attacks on women

11 October, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

Joseph Martelli ‘will now spend a significant time in jail’

A SHOP worker from Holloway has been found guilty of attempted murder after repeatedly stabbing a woman after she rejected his advances.

Wood Green Crown Court heard Joseph Martelli, 23, had attacked the victim inside his home in April after she stepped away when he tried to kiss her.

He said: “Is it because I am black?”, before pushing her to the ground and overpowering her, the court was told.

He strangled her and then stabbed her multiple times with a knife.

She suffered four stab wounds to her abdomen and three stab wounds to her neck.

His two children were sleeping at the address at the time.

The victim called the police after she managed to escape and was taken to a major trauma centre, a jury heard.

They had been friends before the incident and the woman had spent the evening chatting with him at his home before the attack.

Peter Nugent, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a shocking attack on a young woman by a man she believed was her friend. It was completely unprovoked, senseless and the victim is lucky to be alive.”

“The prosecution case included strong witness testimony from the victim and DNA evidence from the clumsy attempt to wipe clean the kitchen floor and the bloodied clothes in the washing machine. We were also able to call on evidence from the defendant’s ex-partner where the jury was told how Mr Martelli had previously strangled her in a similar manner on the same kitchen floor.

“Joseph Martelli will now spend a significant time in jail where he will no longer pose a threat to women.”

The case has led to a leading women’s aid charity calling for violent “patterns of behaviour” to be taken into account by the justice system.

A spokeswoman for Solace Women’s Aid, which runs women’s refuges in London including two in Islington, said: “This is a horrific crime where a woman was brutally attacked by someone she trusted and we hope the sentence will reflect the severity of this crime.

“It is abhorrent that a woman’s right to say no led to such a vicious, life-threatening attack.

“It is also vital to highlight a perpetrator’s history of domestic abuse.”

She added: “In our work with women experiencing abuse, strangulation is an extremely high risk behaviour. We are committed to ensuring earlier intervention in cases of violence against women and girls, so women can get the right support sooner and the perpetrator’s escalating violence is prevented.”

Anyone concerned about domestic or sexual violence or abuse can call Solace on freephone advice line 0808 802 5565 or visit


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