I pro­tected my girl…

A petty row over a bag of clothes...then this

Chat - - Content - By Anne Trot­ter, 46, from Tyne and Wear

Nip­ping out to our lo­cal pizza place, I looked for­ward to our Fri­day night treat.

It was a rainy evening in Oc­to­ber last year.

But the take­away was only a few min­utes away.

‘Won’t be long,’ I called to my mum Edna, 80, leav­ing her look­ing af­ter my youngest daugh­ter Ava, 2.

My old­est daugh­ter, 20, also lived round the cor­ner with her boyfriend.

I loved hav­ing all my fam­ily liv­ing a stone’s throw away.

Only, as I walked down the road to the take­away, I heard yelling.

It sounded loud and ag­gres­sive.

It was com­ing from a flat on the same road.

As I got closer, I sud­denly stood stock still.

I’d know that voice any­where,

I thought. It was my daugh­ter. By now, I was stand­ing out­side the build­ing. I had no idea who lived there.

As the voices grew louder, I didn’t waste another sec­ond.

Storm­ing over, I ham­mered on the flat door. My daugh­ter opened it. ‘What are you do­ing here?’ she cried, shocked to see me.

‘I could hear you yelling from the street!’ I said.

Her boyfriend was stand­ing be­hind her.

‘She stole my new clothes,’ my daugh­ter cried, point­ing to another woman in the hall­way. I’d never seen her be­fore. But my daugh­ter was ob­vi­ously very dis­tressed.

She was sure this woman had taken a bag of clothes she’d bought re­cently. I didn’t un­der­stand it all com­pletely.

But the at­mo­sphere was fraught, and I wanted my girl out of there.

She seemed so up­set and ag­i­tated.

Even though she was grown up, I al­ways worried about her – some­times she was too trust­ing of peo­ple.

So I launched into pro­tec­tive-mum mode.

‘Wait out­side,’ I told my daugh­ter and her boyfriend. ‘I’ll deal with this.’ They did as I said. ‘Please can you return the clothes?’ I asked the woman.

Only, she started scream­ing at me.

‘I haven’t got them!’ she shouted, her face twisted with rage.

Try­ing to stay calm, I asked her sev­eral times.

‘Please return the clothes,’ I said again, point­ing my fin­ger now.

Each time, she came back with the same re­sponse.

We were stand­ing close to each other, tem­pers frayed.

But this woman looked like trou­ble.

And I could see I wasn’t get­ting any­where with her, so I turned to leave.

Only, as I did, she rushed for­ward, lunged at my face.

Stunned, I pushed her off.

Then I caught a glimpse of some­thing in her hand, shin­ing in the light.

A knife.

Panic flooded me. I touched my face, pulled my hand away and gasped.

It was cov­ered in blood.

I’ve been stabbed,

I re­alised.

I’d not even felt the knife go in.

In a blind panic, I fled the flat, clutch­ing my cheek, leav­ing a trail of blood.

Out­side, I stum­bled into my daugh­ter. She screamed. ‘What did she do to you?’ she cried.

She rang an am­bu­lance and we tried to stem the bleed­ing with a tis­sue. I felt dizzy, head spin­ning. The woman was still in­side the flat, hid­ing.

My daugh­ter and her boyfriend went to tell Mum what had hap­pened, and to look af­ter Ava while I was rushed to Durham Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal.

There, I needed treat­ment on

I caught a glimpse of some­thing in her hand, shin­ing

the gash on my left cheek and mi­nor plas­tic surgery to make sure it healed.

‘It’s go­ing to scar,’ a doc­tor warned, ban­dag­ing me up. My heart sank. The next morn­ing, I was sent home. But for days I was in agony. My lymph glands had swollen up ter­ri­bly, mean­ing I couldn’t eat or swal­low any­thing prop­erly.

I couldn’t move my arm or shoul­der, ei­ther. I had aches and pains all down my leg. The cut on my cheek had affected the nerves all over my body. My daugh­ter felt ter­ri­ble. She told me the woman was her friend Kiera Bates.

She’d met her through another mate and hadn’t known her for very long.

She said she’d spent £100 on clothes and had left them at Kiera’s flat. Only, when she’d gone to col­lect them later, they were gone.

She’d ac­cused Kiera of re­turn­ing them for a re­fund and pock­et­ing the cash, and a row had bro­ken out be­tween the two of them.

‘I’m sorry,’ my daugh­ter wept.

But it wasn’t her fault.

She wasn’t to know I’d hap­pen upon their row – or that Kiera would launch a vi­cious knife at­tack.

Thank­fully, shortly af­ter that, the po­lice told us that Kiera had been ar­rested.

Only, they had more news for me.

An of­fi­cer told me they thought Kiera had slashed me with a dirty knife.

I needed to get my­self tested for tetanus and hep­ati­tis.

I was ter­ri­fied wait­ing for the re­sults. I couldn’t help but imag­ine the worst.

Thank­fully, in the end, all the tests came back clear.

Such a re­lief!

My ban­dages came off, too. Look­ing in the mir­ror at my scarred cheek, tears sprang to my eyes. This Jan­uary, Kiera Bates, 31, ap­peared at New­cas­tle Crown Court. She pleaded guilty to un­law­ful wound­ing. The court heard she had pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, but hadn’t been in trou­ble for six years. She was jailed for 15 months, sus­pended for 18 months. Bates was made sub­ject to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion re­quire­ments – but, the re­al­ity was, she walked free from court. Mean­while, I’m scarred. I’m re­minded of that fact ev­ery time I look at my­self in the mir­ror. ‘There’s no jus­tice,’ I told my mum, ut­terly dev­as­tated. I was only try­ing to pro­tect my daugh­ter, like any mother would want to do. But I’ve been marked for life. I feel self-con­scious when I’m out and peo­ple stare at my cheek. And for what?

A bag of clothes?

It could have been so much worse, too.

She could’ve left me bat­tling a life-long dis­ease from that dirty knife.

Bates de­served to be locked up.

I’m just glad it was me and not my girl.

They said that she’d slashed me with a dirty knife

Kiera Bates

I feel self-con­scious

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