Woman jailed for stabbing victim seven times

A Hastings woman has been jailed after stabbing a woman she found in bed with her girlfriend. File photo / NZ Herald
A Hastings woman has been jailed after stabbing a woman she found in bed with her girlfriend. File photo / NZ Herald

A Hastings woman was today sentenced to four years in jail after stabbing a woman she found in bed with her girlfriend.

Shannon Tanya Pickering, 49, was sentenced by Justice Raynor Asher in the High Court in Napier yesterday on a charge of attempted murder.

The incident happened after police sent Pickering home on bail to her Hastings flat 10 months ago - the place most likely for such a "flare-up" to happen, Justice Asher said.

He did not blame police, saying it was "an unfortunate set of circumstances" which created the situation, and provided an extra element of provocation which had to be taken into account when considering the sentence.

The Judge said Pickering had earlier gone to the home of the 33-year-old victim in Heretaunga St, Hastings, about 4.15am last October 15.

She used a hockey stick to smash up a caravan in which the woman was sleeping with Pickering's girlfriend and a young child.

Pickering was arrested nearby and taken to Hastings Police Station, where she was charged with intentionally damaging the caravan and a vehicle, and released on bail about 10am, with a condition to stay at her flat in Maddison St.

Unable to stay in the caravan because of its condition, the other two women and the child had in the meantime gone to the flat, and were on a bed when Pickering arrived.

She ordered them out, pointing out that it was a condition of her bail to stay at the address, but when she was told to leave a struggle developed, moving from the bedroom to the kitchen where Pickering grabbed a knife and stabbed the victim seven times.

The injured woman fled to a nearby house from where police were called and she was taken to hospital. She has since recovered.

Justice Asher said the two women at Pickering's home would not have expected her home so soon, and Pickering would not have expected them to be there.

It was a provocative situation for her finding the women on a bed she had previously shared with her girlfriend, and then being told to leave her home, the only place she was legally allowed to be.

While Pickering had previous convictions for assault with a weapon, including one involving the stabbing victim, she was someone who tended to lash out when things weren't going her own way, rather than hunting people to hurt, the judge said.

She had herself been a victim of abuse at a young age, had been brought-up as a boy, and had only ever had female partners.

For much of her life she had abused substances, as well as during her adult life having had treatment for post-traumatic stress and depression, the judge said, commenting that if she could learn to control her situation she would be able to live the good life she had shown she was capable of.

- APNZ

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