Petar Petrov
Petar Petrov stabbed his pregnant fiancee in the face in an attack that left her in a vegetative state Met Police

A Bulgarian man has been jailed for 21 years for a brutal attack on his heavily pregnant fiancée that has left her in a vegetative state, six months later.

Petar Petrov, 31, stabbed his partner, who was eight months pregnant, in the face after exploding into a fit of violence at the pair's home in north London in August last year.

The victim, who met Petrov at a Knightsbridge hotel where she worked, suffered life-threatening injuries including several facial fractures, severe bruising of the lungs and a stab wound to the face. She remains in a critical condition with little chance of recovering.

Doctors had to perform an emergency Caesarian section on the woman in order to save her son, who survived the ordeal with no injuries. Police say the child is likely to never know his parents.

Neighbours grew increasingly worried about the pair at approximately 8pm on 5 August after hearing loud shouting and arguing which lasted for around an hour. One local resident recalled hearing a man shouting followed by a bang.

Petrov was then found unresponsive lying on the floor outside the home, which a member of the public assumed meant he had been thrown through the first-floor window as he was surrounded by glass. He also had knife wounds to his body.

When other neighbours came to help, the man who provided first aid to Petrov entered the flat where he found the victim lying on the floor with injuries to her head and neck. It was at this point that he discovered she was heavily pregnant and he immediately began first aid. She was taken to hospital where she was treated in intensive care.

Due to the victim's condition and in order to save the baby's life, doctors performed an emergency caesarean. The baby was born prematurely, but with no physical injuries.

Petrov was found with injuries consistent with falling from a height and self-inflicted wounds, and taken to an east London hospital for treatment and subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder.

'Incomprehensible attack'

Speaking following Petrov's sentencing, detective inspector Christopher Skelt of Enfield Police Community Safety Unit said: "The severity of the sentence handed to Petrov today reflects the seriousness of this offence. This has been a truly shocking case. It is incomprehensible to think that a father-to-be could carry out such a violent and horrific attack on his partner when she was eight months pregnant with their baby.

"I am very pleased the judge commended the bravery of Mr Kerry Keogh who found and helped the victim at the scene following her ordeal. I personally would like to also commend all the members of the public who were first at this distressing scene, and who performed first aid on the injured parties and called the emergency services. Their quick actions were crucial in getting the victim the medical attention she needed, saving the mother and unborn child's lives.

"Sadly the mother remains in a persistent vegetative state with virtually no chance of recovery. Thankfully her child was born without any physical injuries via caesarean section. However, unfortunately, this child is likely to never know his parents."