A man who dressed up in a bunny costume in order to stab his ex’s new boyfriend in the neck and tried to incapacitate him with chloroform has been jailed.

Mark Pritchard, 46, of Warminster in Wiltshire, was yesterday sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison after admitting a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The court was told Mr Pritchard arrived at the home of his former partner Lee Corbin in Bristol on 3 October 2013 dressed in a theatrical animal outfit.

Bristol Crown Court heard Pritchard rang the intercom at Mr Corbin’s home, claiming to have a special delivery. He managed to persuade Martin Williams that the delivery was a romantic gesture from his absent lover.

The Bristol Post reports Prosecuting, Giles Nelson said: “The defendant arrived at the house wearing all black, excluding a large rabbit head, and was carrying roses and other gifts.

“His attempts at persuading Mr Williams he was a romantic gift sent by his partner were very convincing and he followed the instructions given in the letters by Mr Pritchard.”

At the time Mr Corbin who was away on holiday.

After persuading Mr Williams to lie and wait in bed with a blindfold on, Pritchard, who is a care worker, attempted to use chloroform to make Mr Corbin pass out.

But Mr Corbin resisted and when Pritchard’s rabbit head was knocked off, he began to stab the victim in what was described as “jealous rage”.

Mr Nelson said: “Following a struggle Mr Williams suffered two stab wounds to the hip and one to the neck.

“Mr Pritchard then carried him downstairs into the living room, where Mr Williams begged him for help, telling him he would die otherwise.”

The court heard Mr Williams even sent a text to his boyfriend ending the relationship during the ordeal, in an attempt to placate his attacker.

The court heard that Mr Williams, who also lives in Bristol, suffered two stab wounds to the hip, one to the neck and multiple defensive injuries.

Sentencing Pritchard, Lord Justice Ford said: “This was done in jealous rage but it wasn’t spontaneous – it had been planned.

“I take into account that you are a man of 46 years old with no prior convictions but this is a case that shows signs of premeditation.

“It seems to me that the aggravating features of this case significantly outweigh the mitigating ones.

“If you would have decided to plead not guilty to this offence I would be sentencing you to 13 years but I will reduce this by a third for your early guilty plea. You will serve eight years and eight months and I will also be issuing a restraining order for Mr Corbin and Mr Williams.”