MONCTON, N.B. – A chronic violent offender has been sentenced to five years in prison for stabbing his common-law spouse in Moncton this past summer.

33-year-old Matthew Girvan had earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting Nadia Gautreau with a knife and metal pipe, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a knife on his landlord, and breaching a court recognizance.

Girvan has spent much of his adult life in prison and has a lengthy criminal record that includes robbery and aggravated assault including a five year prison sentence for stabbing his mother.

In passing sentence, provincial court judge Pierre Arseneault said Girvan poses a high threat to the public and must be separated from society for as long as possible.

The defense had asked for a lesser sentence claiming Girvan had a violent childhood, has suffered from drug and alcohol addiction over the years and has experienced paranoid delusions at times.