I protected my girl…
A petty row over a bag of clothes...then this
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.
Panic flooded me. I touched my face, pulled my hand away and gasped.
It was covered in blood.
I’ve been stabbed,
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
I feel self-conscious