Stab victim’s wish for attacker to get help

Court news
Court news

A woman who admitted stabbing a man she suspected of stealing a precious photo has been jailed for two and a half years.

Kerry Parsons, 35, of Black Dog Walk, Crawley, was sentenced at Hove Trial Centre on Friday.

She had previously pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

The court heard that victim John Smith had tried to persuade her to pretend he had been hurt by accident, and later told police that he wanted her to get help with mental and emotional issues.

Prosecutor Rowan Jenkins said Mr Smith had been at Parsons’ home in the early hours of June 30 this year, when she realised that a picture of her late brother was missing.

Mr Jenkins said she accused Mr Smith of taking the photo, and then stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

“The complainant has since passed away, but it was completely unrelated to this case,” he said, adding that before he died Mr Smith made a statement saying that he wanted her to get help.

Gareth Burrows, defending, said Parsons and the victim had been friends for a while, and he had asked to stay with her that evening because there was no electricity at his home.

“Then he begins to talk about her brother, mocking him I suppose. Then she realises his picture is missing.”

He added that the loss of her brother had caused her ‘significant’ emotional problems.

“When police attend, they observe that the complainant is saying: ‘Tell them it was an accident,’ and she was saying: ‘No, tell them what I’ve done.’

“It’s clear that she has real regret.”

He said the injury caused to Mr Smith had been a relatively minor single stab wound to the back.

“He didn’t even have any medical attention, though he probably should have at least had some stitches,” he added.

Sentencing, Judge David Rennie said he had read a long letter from Parsons, saying she regretted what had happened.

“This was in no way pre-planned,” he said.

“It was a single blow that happily didn’t lead to serious injury - it could have caused paralysis, or it could have caused a fatality.

“You clearly felt enormous provocation - it meant a great deal to you, that picture.

“Your remorse, I’m completely satisfied, is completely genuine - I agree with the Probation Service that you are unlikely to offend again.”

He gave her a two and a half year sentence, half to be served in custody and half on licence.

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