A STUDENT who tried to carve up his girlfriend in a frenzied knife attack had his sentence reduced by top judges.

Joshua Boland, a promising student at Liverpool's John Moores University, ran amok at the home of Sara Ainsworth, in Morval Crescent, Runcorn, after a night out fuelled by alcohol sparked him into a terrifying explosion of jealousy.

Mr Justice Field described Boland as a normally quiet young man who was a member of the university air squadron.

He dreamt of becoming an RAF pilot, London's Appeal Court heard on Thursday, and is now racked by "profound remorse".

Boland, aged 23, was unaccustomed to heavy drinking and had had never shown violence to Ms Ainsworth before the onslaught, the court heard.

The couple returned to her home with Boland "ranting and raving", said the judge, grabbing a knife from the kitchen rack before chasing his girlfriend around the room.

Boland had the knife in an over-hand grip as he slashed at Ms Ainsworth, repeatedly screaming that he was going to kill her and inflicting severe wounds.

His actions were like those of a "caged animal", the court heard.

Ms Ainsworth was only saved from worse injuries by the courage of her mother, Carolyn Ainsworth, aged 48, who was also wounded in the head by Boland as she guarded her daughter from the assault.

Sara Ainsworth's injuries were potentially life-threatening, comprising four wounds and a partially collapsed lung.

Boland, of Deneshey Road, Hoylake, was jailed for 12 years at Chester Crown Court in August last year, after admitting attempted murder and unlawful wounding.

Mr Justice Field, sitting with Lord Justice Elias and Judge Paul Batty QC, said the punishment was too harsh.

Despite the ferocity of his assault on the two women, he said Boland should have received greater credit for his guilty plea.

The judge said "This dreadful attack on Sara and her mother was completely out of character".

Boland's sentence was cut to 10 years, of which he will serve half before qualifying for automatic release.