A SOUTH Yorkshire teenager who stabbed a pregnant woman after a row on Facebook has been sentenced to seven years in custody.
Briony Bayston, aged 17, stabbed and slashed Hannah Epton with a kitchen knife after an argument on the social networking site spiralled out of control, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Miss Epton, who was six months pregnant at the time of the attack in Mexborough, Doncaster, last August, suffered slash wounds to her arm and shoulder and a cut to her forehead. She had to see a plastic surgeon and has been left with scars.
Bev Tate, prosecuting, said the women had been friends until six months before the attack, when they fell out.
She said: “There had been some Facebook traffic between Bayston and the sister of the complainant.
“Miss Epton saw this and didn’t want to get involved. However, as the traffic progressed she decided to become involved and sent a message saying ‘please don’t judge people you don’t know’.
Miss Tate said threats were then made towards Miss Epton and her unborn child.
She said: “This was something which horrified the complainant.
“She resented what was being said and decided to go and speak to Bayston.”
When Miss Epton arrived at Bayston’s home in Woodfield avenue, Mexborough, Bayston came out of the house with a five-inch knife hidden up her sleeve and attacked her, telling her and her partner: “I’ll kill you and slash you both up.”
Miss Tate said: “She threw her arms towards Miss Epton three to six times. Miss Epton realised she was bleeding and realised Bayston had a knife.”
In a statement, Miss Epton said she had been left with a cut on her forehead and two cuts to her upper arms, one of which had caused nerve damage. She said she was ‘disgusted’ anyone could attack a pregnant woman.
Edward Moss, mitigating for Bayston, who admitted wounding, said she armed herself in self defence, because she thought Miss Epton had come to hurt her.
Sentencing her to seven years in custody and imposing a lifelong restraining order, Judge Peter Kelson QC said: “This was an appalling offence. It seems like an argument got out of hand and unpleasant things were being said.
“You armed yourself with a knife, came out of your house and launched a surprise attack on her involving stabbing and slashing.”