Woman jailed for knife attack on friend

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A woman has been jailed for six years after repeatedly stabbing a friend in a jealous rage in Halifax.

Emma Kershaw, 32, of West Parade, Sowerby Bridge, was locked up today after admitting wounding Coleen Wilkinson with intent, in an attack which Bradford Crown Court heard.

Ian Brook, prosecuting, said mum-of-one Kershaw had spent part of the day, on September 14 last year, with her boyfriend and Miss Wilkinson and there had been arguing.

That evening, Miss Wilkinson and Kershaw’s boyfriend, and friends - but not Kershaw - went back to a flat in Halifax where they drank alcohol.

Miss Wilkinson took Kershaw’s boyfriend home to his bedsit on Union Street South to comfort him as he was upset.

The court heard they had been at the bedsit for 45 minutes when there was a bang on the door.

Mr Brook said: “The defendant was there. She walked in the flat without saying anything. She went to the cupboard under the sink. The next thing the complainant was aware of was the defendant was armed with a kitchen knife and was standing before her.”

He said Kershaw moved the knife towards Miss Wilkinson’s face, slicing a deep gash between her thumb and forefinger as she tried to protect herself.

She then slashed the left hand side of her forehead - leaving two gashes, one four inches long.

As Miss Wilksinson tried to leave, Kershaw stabbed her on her shoulder, saying “I’ve been listening at the door’.

Miss Wilkinson replied: “We weren’t doing anything”, before fleeing to her home where paramedics and police were called.

The court heard her wounds were stitched together but she needed surgery to a damaged nerve and tendon in her hand - which she still cannot move properly.

She told police she thought her thumb was going to fall off and thought she was going to die.

Kershaw was arrested two days later at her home. Mr Brook said: “She was hiding under some bedsheets. She threw the covers off herself and was laughing.”

Abigail Langford, for Kershaw, said had a background of excessive drinking and drug addiction but said she was remorseful and has been addressing her behaviour while in prison.

Miss Langford added Kershaw was “not without promise” and has a daughter, a supportive boyfriend and a sister she is close to.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC: “You came upon your friend and your boyfriend in a situation you misundertood and in drink you reacted extremely violently.”

Jailing her for six years, he added: “You have shown genuine remorse and a real determination to try and get your life back together, together with your commitment to your daughter and so on. This was in truth an isolated incident, motivated by jealousy.”

DCI Terry Long of Calderdale Police, said: “This was a violent assault against a woman which left her with serious injuries.

“Violent crime of this nature is thankfully rare in Calderdale but when it does occur we take it very seriously.

“Significant police resources are committed to investigating these reports and pleasingly this year (since April 2012) the division have had successful detection outcomes in three out of four cases.”