A WOMAN is in a coma after she is believed to have been stabbed by her ex-partner in a row over their child.

Leanne Meecham, 26, remains critically ill at a London hospital after she was attacked in her home in Park Street, Westcliff.

Her ex-partner, a 42-year-old man, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but he too remains in a stable condition in hospital after being found with suspected self-inflicted stab wounds in Plas Newydd, Thorpe Bay, an hour after Leanne was attacked.

A child, aged three, has been taken into care by Southend Council social services.

Ms Meecham was put in a medicallyinduced coma after her heart stopped for 20 minutes after the attack.

Her great aunt, Jacqueline Cook, 55, of Westcliff, said: “She was stabbed in the throat and heart and her heart stopped beating for a while.

“They’ve put her in an induced coma and are hoping to bring her round on Monday or Tuesday. They don’t know what damage has been done yet.

“We are just numb, we’re all rallying round and watching over her at the Royal London.

“All the family are praying for her and the vicar at my church, St Laurence in Eastwood, has said prayers for her.”

Ms Meecham’s sister, Carly Bush has said Leanne was trying to move on with her life having split from her partner last year.

Carly said: “She is a brilliant and devoted mum, she is just trying to get on with her life the best she can.

“She is a lovely girl, she just wants to be a good mum to her son.”

Reverend Steve Spencer, of St Laurence Church, Eastwood, led his Sunday congregation in prayer for Ms Meecham’s health.

He said: “We have been praying and yesterday we came together and prayed for Leanne and her son.”

After the stabbing last Thursday, police admitted the couple were known to them and they have referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Detectives yesterday appealed for anyone who saw a 4x4 Discovery Land Rover in the Southend area around the time of the incident to come forward.

Shortly after 10.30am on Thursday, officers stopped the black Land Rover Discovery at the junction of Eastern Esplanade and Plas Newydd.

Inside was a 42-year-old local man who himself had sustained stab wounds.

Officers are trying to establish the exact route it took.