Bullied schoolgirl sentenced after stabbing

PUBLISHED: 14:55 12 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:51 06 May 2010

A SCHOOLGIRL who endured months of bullying finally snapped and stabbed one of her tormentors during a fight in the common room. The 14-year-old had taken two knives from her home to school that morning to protect herself from the other girl who was ang

A SCHOOLGIRL who endured months of bullying finally "snapped" and stabbed one of her tormentors during a fight in the common room.

The 14-year-old had taken two knives from her home to school that morning to protect herself from the other girl who was angry that she was seeing her ex-boyfriend.

But after the girl was punched to the floor by her rival, she took out a knife and stabbed the other girl in her side, causing a superficial cut.

The girl, who is now 16, appeared at Luton Crown Court last Thursday and admitted a charge of wounding the other girl with intent on July 15, 2004 at the school in Stevenage.

Passing sentence, Judge Richard Kay told the girl: "I am satisfied this was an isolated incident and out of character."

He accepted that the background to the stabbing had been the bullying she suffered and that the knives had been taken to school to "scare off" the other girl.

But he said such was the seriousness of the offence, he had no alternative but to impose a custodial sentence to demonstrate the carrying of knives will not be tolerated.

He sentenced the teenager to an 18-month detention and training order. The girl will serve half before her release.

The court heard how the girl's parents separated when she was one-year- old and she had attended a number of schools growing up.

Eventually she and her mother and step-father moved to Stevenage where she went to the secondary school, but found it hard to make friends and settle in.

Nigel Lambert QC, defending, said "She always felt uncomfortable there and time and time again she told her mother how difficult she found it to make friends."

Her problems got worse as she became the victim of a gang of bullies.

She was mocked because of her posh voice and accused of being "stuck up".

The gang also mocked her appearance and tormented her about having a long nose.

The girl, feeling "wretched and isolated", tried to win over her tormenters but failed.

She was threatened with beatings and sworn at and encouraged to go shoplifting on behalf of the bullies.

Mr Lambert said the school became aware of the girl's problem, but never really helped her.

She lost weight and her behaviour at school and at home deteriorated.

"She began to self harm, cutting her arm using knives, scissors and whatever she could find," said the barrister.

The girl also started smoking and binge drinking and stealing from the home.

On the day she took the knives to school, she wanted to let it be known she had them so the other girl would leave her alone. But it had the opposite effect.

The other girl attacked her, and she lashed with the knife in an attempt to defend herself.

"She snapped in a moment of madness which will be with her forever," added Mr Lambert.

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