A teenager stabbed in a park by a jealous 16-year-old girl has shared graphic images of her injuries as a warning about knife crime.
Eve Hewitson-Cross, 19, suffered a punctured lung and the blade narrowly missed her spine when she was knifed in the back as she waited to meet friends.
She was only 17 when she was struck by the blade twice by her former best friend who thought Eve wanted to steal her boyfriend.
The weapon was millimetres from her spine during the horror attack on March 1 last year.
Eve dropped out of college and now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and panic attacks.
But her attacker this week walked free from court when the judge gave her a lenient sentence due to her age and the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The girl was given a two-year rehabilitation order, a ten-year restraining order and will spend three months on a tag.
She will also be subject to police surveillance, 25 hours supervision per week and must complete a knife crime programme.
Preston Crown Court heard the attacker, who was 16 at the time, was two days into a withdrawal from ketamine and ecstasy.
Joshua Bowker, prosecuting, said she went to the park armed with a large kitchen knife in her waistband, grabbed Eve’s head and pushed her to the ground.
The court heard she was unhappy at Eve’s perceived friendship with a boy.
She grabbed Eve by the head while she sat on a wall listening to headphones and began reigning blows down on her.
Eve fell to her knees and felt blows to her back, before the defendant’s boyfriend told her to stop.
She spent three days in hospital, where medics found she had suffered two wounds, measuring 3cm and 4cm.
Brave Eve read out her victim impact statement in a video call to the court.
Sentencing, Judge Parry told the teen: “You heard her today describe how she was drenched in her own blood, particularly her knickers and pants, as the blood cascaded down her back.
“I’ve seen photos of both those wounds. They are horrendous to look at.
“Nobody should be under any illusion the sentence is a light sentence at all – it isn’t. It is incredibly intensive.
“I’ve resisted sending you to detention today for two primary reasons.
“Your mental health, and how it affects your welfare, is something that’s been plaguing you for many years, but also the delay in bringing this matter to court has had an influence on the type of sentence I’ve passed.
“You couldn’t have been closer to going to custody today.”
However, Eve said she felt her attacker has been given a lenient sentence.
She said: “People are dying everyday because of knife crime. It’s wrong. Kids like the girl that attacked me think it’s OK.
“That’s why I want people to see the injuries I had. These weren’t just scratches; they are serious deep knife wounds.
“I was attacked completely by surprise – I had no chance at all.
“I lost huge amounts of blood, suffered a collapsed lung, and was very nearly paralysed.
“If it wasn’t for two people who were passing by who helped me, I don’t know what would have happened.
“I’m really thankful to them, and the paramedics who looked after me. They saved my life.”
Eve said she was too scared to continue her college course and pursue a career in pharmacy.
She also quit her job at the hospital through fear of bumping into her attacker again and now works night shifts as “there is less chance of seeing her around”.
Eve added: “I’m always nervous of being on my own. I am not the same person I was and I don’t think I can ever be again.
“When someone can take a knife out to specifically attack you, you realise anything could happen, and that’s scary.
“My mum, dad and sister have really struggled, mentally and emotionally. Mum and dad have had to take lots of time off work to support me.”
And she called on the authorities to get tougher on knife crime, adding: ” At the time Boris Johnson had made a big thing out of how knife crime would be tackled seriously, and we were reassured by that, but now we feel it isn’t true.
“I want the sentences to fit the crime, and to acknowledge the impact not only on victims but the wider impact on their families as well.
“Sentences have to focus on rehabilitation, but should also act as a deterrent, to stop people being killed and injured, and lives ruined.
“People like her need rehabilitating – it isn’t normal for a 16-year-old to think it’s acceptable to stab someone in the back, and her behaviour needs to change because she obviously needs help.”