Woman had artery in tongue severed after she was stabbed in face, court hears

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd. - Credit: Archant

A woman has been left with life-changing injuries after she was stabbed in the face which severed an artery in her tongue, when she tried to get a gang to move out who had cuckooed her Norwich flat, a court heard.

The 28-year-old victim was stabbed in the face and shoulder after she asked the gang, who had been using the flat in Arnold Miller Road as a base to deal drugs, to move out, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Mark Roochove, prosecuting, said when she told the group she wanted them to leave they asked how she was going to make them go, and one of them armed himself with a frying pan and a 17 year-old youth pulled out a hunting knife and stabbed her in the shoulder and face.

Mr Roochove said the stab to the face severed her lip and cut through an artery in her tongue causing her to lose alot of blood.

He said she was taken to hospital and she had to undergo surgery. He said that doctors said the injury was extremely difficult to treat and it was hard to stem the blood flow.

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In an impact statement read by the victim, who used to be a keen singer, she said she now speaks with a lisp and is disfigured, which has made her feel less confident

She said the injury means she now finds it hard to sing, which is something she used to enjoy, and she has difficulty in swallowing and eating.

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The youth, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm and possession of a knife, was given three years detention in a young offender's institution.

Judge Anthony Bate said sadly the background to the case was Class A drug dealing which he described as 'an evil trade.'

He said that the carrying of hunting knives or Rambo-style knives was part of the drug dealing operation and said often local vulnerable drug users were taken advantage of and their homes used as a base for drug dealing, which is known as 'cuckooing.'

Judge Bate said: 'It was a sustained assault on a vulnerable victim.'

Oliver Haswell, for the youth, said that he was still a young man and said he had a difficult upbringing.

He said that the defendant was also vulnerable and used by those higher up the chain and said: 'Vulnerable people in these type of situations make poor decisions.'

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