Mother jailed for drink-and-drug-fuelled frenzied stabbing of elderly neighbour
A MOTHER has been jailed for repeatedly stabbing her elderly neighbour in a frenzied drink-and-drug-fuelled attack which arose from allegations that her two-year-old son had been hit by the victim. Kelly Pasquali, aged 30, of Stephens Way in Redbourn, pl
A MOTHER has been jailed for repeatedly stabbing her elderly neighbour in a frenzied drink-and-drug-fuelled attack which arose from allegations that her two-year-old son had been hit by the victim.
Kelly Pasquali, aged 30, of Stephens Way in Redbourn, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and appeared at St Albans Crown Court today (Wednesday) for sentencing.
On January 12, drunk and armed with a knife, she went to the home of her former friend and 69-year-old neighbour Rosemary Duffy to launch a violent attack which left her with life-threatening injuries.
On opening the door Mrs Duffy was stabbed in the arm and when she managed to shut Pasquali out, her attacker climbed through a back window to continue the frenzied stabbing.
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Mrs Duffy was left with serious injuries to her arms and upper thighs which caused her to lose a lot of blood and she has yet to make a full recovery.
On the evening of the attack, Pasquali had been at a friend's house drinking alcohol and taking cocaine and when she returned home an argument broke out over the phone with Mrs Duffy who accused her of ringing her doorbell and running away.
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Hostilities between the pair worsened after social services received an anonymous report that Mrs Duffy had smacked Pasquali's son but on investigation the matter was not pursued.
In Pasquali's defence the court heard that she has never demonstrated violent behaviour in the past and was extremely remorseful about her actions which on reflection shocked her deeply.
The defending solicitor said Pasquali believed her son had been assaulted and although disproportionate, the attack was the result of built-up anger about that which was further compounded by her own experiences of violence throughout her own childhood.
During her time in custody and since the attack, the court heard, Pasquali had taken advantage of every opportunity for help and had secured a job but was struggling being apart from her son who was also missing her deeply.
Sentencing her, Judge John Plumstead said that very few cases presented as many difficulties.
He said: "I am perfectly sure that Mrs Duffy had done nothing substantially wrong at all and you fell out because you were made aware that she had smacked your child. It's not something any parent would wish to hear but it's a long way from justifying any form of bad behaviour."
He added: "It is very apparent because of your mother's difficulties with partners and your very harsh treatment that you were acutely vulnerable to becoming over-fearful about your own small boy."
He accepted that the attack was "out of character" and that Pasquali was not a danger to the public. But he sentenced her to 42 months imprisonment as a result of which after 21 months she would be considered for release on a tag.