Knife-attack victim tells of her terror

PUBLISHED: 15:55 13 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:15 06 May 2010

Mr and Mrs Duffy

Mr and Mrs Duffy

THE victim of a frenzied knife attack has spoken of her horrific injuries and the disappointment she feels at the sentence given to the neighbour responsible. On January 12 Rosemary Duffy, aged 60, of Stephens Way in Redbourn was stabbed repeatedly in her

Mrs Duffy's arm

THE victim of a frenzied knife attack has spoken of her horrific injuries and the disappointment she feels at the sentence given to the neighbour responsible.

On January 12 Rosemary Duffy, aged 60, of Stephens Way in Redbourn was stabbed repeatedly in her home by 30-year-old Kelly Pasquali, who had spent the night consuming a concoction of different alcohols and cocaine.

The seven-inch knife inflicted life-threatening injuries on Mrs Duffy who had previously been friends with her attacker and who, with her 69-year-old husband John, had regularly cared for Pasquali's two-year-old son.

The deep knife wounds to her leg, arm and abdomen led to the loss of a substantial amount of blood and she had to go on an IV drip and undergo a five-hour operation.

Mrs Duffy's lower leg wound

The mother of five and grandmother to 17 has been left with extensive scarring, both physical and mental.

Prior to the attack, Mrs Duffy had already been suffering with asthma, diabetes, arthritis, deafness in one ear and blindness in one eye, and the ailments have worsened since the attack which has left her afraid to leave her home on her own.

The former nurse said: "I was absolutely terrified and I'm still terrified. I can't open the front door and I can't even open the windows. I can't go out on my own because I'm too scared. I'm still having nightmares and I need to take sleeping tablets." She added: "I really did think I was going to die."

Her attacker Pasquali pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was last week sentenced to 42 months in prison but she will be considered for release on tag after serving half that sentence.

The scar on Mrs Duffy's thigh

Mrs Duffy and her husband, an ex-army man and former builder, believe the punishment is insufficient and can't understand why Pasquali wasn't charged with attempted murder.

But what has upset them most was an allegation made to social services that Mrs Duffy had smacked Pasquali's son - the devout Christians strenuously denied the claim supported by all those present at the church when the incident was said to have taken place.

The matter was not pursued by social services and Mrs Duffy understood that Pasquali had also dismissed the allegations as relations between them had apparently remained friendly right up until the attack.

But the defence argued in court that the anonymous report had caused the mother to work herself up into a state of agitation prior to the attack.

The couple are now concerned that parents and children in the locality might believe the allegation and Mrs Duffy said: "I would never hit a child, never. I'm not a child beater, I never have been and I wouldn't."

She said she treated Pasquali's son like her own and that in turn he looked upon her and her husband like grandparents having spent so much time together, including a trip to the seaside.

As a Christian, Mrs Duffy said she had managed to forgive Pasquali but she and her husband maintained they would never be able to forget the terrifying ordeal.

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