A JILTED lover who stabbed his ex in front of their two terrified daughters will not be allowed to challenge his sentence, Appeal Court judges ruled yesterday.

Richard Neil Stephenson's 12-year-old and eight-year-old girls by his relationship with the woman witnessed their mother being punched, beaten with a metal bar, and then stabbed by him with a kitchen knife, said Lord Justice Laws.

Stephenson, 32, of Wear Lodge, Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to wounding with intent and on October 15 last year was jailed for three-and-a-half years.

The judge said Stephenson launched his attack in April last year after visiting his children at the home they shared with their mother.

After plunging the three-inch blade into her body, he left with the older girl to call an ambulance, leaving the younger one with her mother, who was desperately staunching the blood with a tea towel, the judge said.

Refusing him an extension of time in order to prepare his appeal, Lord Justice Laws concluded that Stephenson, who has 32 previous convictions including one for possession of an offensive weapon, "richly deserved" his sentence.