News

Mum stabs partner over Mother's Day presents

CUTTING VERDICT: Cathleene Mary Stephens was sent to jail after she stabbed her partner last Mother’s Day.
CUTTING VERDICT: Cathleene Mary Stephens was sent to jail after she stabbed her partner last Mother’s Day. Contributed

A MUM of six stabbed her partner with a knife after he misplaced some Mother's Day presents from her kids.

Cathleene Mary Stephens had warned her partner Andrew Heslin that if he didn't find the presents she would stab him.

The 30-year-old wasn't joking; when no presents were found she grabbed a 15cm knife and confronted Mr Heslin in one of her children's bedrooms.

When Mr Heslin saw the knife in Stephens' hand, he told the child to leave the room and tried to convince his partner not to stab him.

After a heated argument, Mr Heslin was stabbed in the lower part of his right buttocks by Stephens as he tried to leave the room.

As he fell to the ground, Stephens told Mr Heslin it served him right because he had ruined Mother's Day.

At Ipswich District Court this week, Stephens - now 31 - pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful wounding.

Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco said the offence took place on Mother's Day last year.

After Mr Heslin was stabbed, he left the Housing Commission House in Riverview and made his way to a phone booth down the street to call for an ambulance.

He was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital and treated for a puncture wound which was 3cm deep and 1cm long and had apparently hit an artery.

As a result of the injury Mr Heslin was required to use crutches for two weeks.

When police later visited Stephens she admitted to stabbing Mr Heslin but attested that he had tried to punch her.

A court report revealed Mr Heslin had not given Stephens very many presents during their seven years together.

During the incident on Mother's Day, Stephens had apparently thought Mr Heslin had either pawned the presents or not bought them at all when he said he couldn't find them.

Defence barrister Geoff Seaholme said Stephens came from a "dysfunctional" background and had been the subject of abuse during her childhood.

Mr Seaholme pointed out the victim was in court to support Stephens and that the couple were still in a relationship.

Mr Heslin even wrote a character reference for Stephens where he accepted responsibility for his part in the dispute and urged the judge to keep his partner out of jail.

Mr Seaholme said Stephens had a criminal history but sought to have his client's sentence served in the community so that she could still care for all her children.

Judge Deborah Richards said Stephens had committed a "significant act of violence in circumstances where there was little provocation".

"At the end of the day, stabbing someone with a knife - particularly while children are about - is a serious offence," she said.

"There was no real provocation other than the fact that you didn't get a present."

Stephens was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail, to be released after three months.

Topics:  domestic violence editors picks mother's day terrorathome unlawful wounding



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