Drunken knife attack woman’s appeal rejected

Scales of justice
Scales of justice
Have your say

A drunken young woman who inflicted a life-threatening stab wound in a row over a bottle of lager has been told by top judges her 10-year jail term was not a day too long.

Samantha Yvette Houlgrave was 19 and “extremely drunk” when she stabbed Samuel Madden outside her then home in Preston after a late-night party.

Houlgrave, now 20, was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Preston Crown Court in February.

On March 10, having been adjudged to be a “dangerous” offender, Houlgrave was handed a sentence of 10 years in jail, plus three years on extended licence.

Lord Justice Burnett, Mr Justice Lindblom and Mrs Justice Carr, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, heard her lawyers plead for a sentence cut.

The court heard that, in July last year, Houlgrave was hosting a boozy party at her home in Preston, and had drunk 10 pints of lager plus shots of absinthe. She and Mr Madden got into an argument as he was leaving as he wanted to take a bottle of lager with him which he had brought to the party.

Houlgrave lost her temper and punched Mr Madden in the face. He responded by pushing her to the ground and taking the beer before turning to walk away, Mr Justice Lindblom said.

Houlgrave picked up a “long kitchen knife”, which the court heard had been lying in a flower bed, and stabbed Mr Madden in the side.

The wound caused him to collapse, bleeding heavily, and he was rushed to hospital and treated for damage to his kidney and liver. He spent 15 days in hospital and has since been diagnosed as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Lawyers for Houlgrave athe appeal argued she had been treated too harshly. She had endured a difficult childhood and her youth should have counted more in her favour.

The attack involved a single drunken blow with a knife and that did not make her a danger to society, they insisted.

But Mr Justice Lindblom dismissed her appeal, saying the attack could have cost Mr Madden his life.

He said: “Her drunken attack on the victim with a kitchen knife could have easily had even more serious consequences than it did. It might be said that at he was lucky to escape with his life.”