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Teenage girl found guilty of slashing girl’s face in ‘unprovoked attack’

PUBLISHED: 16:38 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:16 17 August 2018

Colchester Magistrates Court. Picture: ABBIE WEAVING

Colchester Magistrates Court. Picture: ABBIE WEAVING

Archant

A 14-year-old girl has been found guilty of slashing another teenager’s face with a Stanley knife in Colchester.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent at Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The victim – a 16-year-old girl – was taken to hospital following the incident in the town centre and received life-long scars to her face.

Essex Police received reports around 4.30pm on Tuesday, June 26, that a 16-year-old was approached by a girl at the lift at the top of Vineyard Street.

Her bag was thrown and she was then attacked with a Stanley knife and received cuts to her nose and forehead.

The teenager was taken to hospital and has received life-long scars to her face.

While carrying out forensic work in the area, the defendant came over to officers and was arrested.

Recent statistics revealed the number of people caught with guns and knives in Colchester has almost doubled in the last year. According to data from the Office of National Statistics released last month, there were 120 weapons possession offences recorded between April 2017 and March 2018 – up 93.5% on 2016-17, when 62 incidents were recorded.

Caroline Shearer, from Clacton, who founded charity Only Cowards Carry after her 17-year-old son Jay Whiston was murdered at a Colchester house party in September 2012, said people need to stop “burying their heads in the sand” over knife crime.

She said: “This just shows how ridiculous it has become.

“People really need to wake up and realise that this is going on. We can’t keep burying our heads in the sand because this is affecting everyone.

“We will keep going but it’s going to take more than just a charity to change things around.

“The whole community needs to come together. These kids need direction and a focus.”

DC Danielle Markoutsis, investigating officer, said: “This was a completely unprovoked attack following a chance meeting by two former school friends.

“The defendant went out armed with a knife in the community and then inflicted serious wounds to the victim’s face in a busy area of the town centre.

“There are simply no excuses for carrying knives in public. If you are found carrying one or use them to cause fear or harm, we will bring you to court where you face a possible prison sentence.”

The 14-year-old girl has been remanded ahead of sentencing on Monday, September 3.

For more information about knife crime, including sections about the consequences of carrying a knife and stories about the devastation caused by knife crime, visit www.essex.police.uk/advice/knife-crime

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