Sheffield woman scarred for life in horrific stabbing calls for tougher knife crime laws

A Sheffield woman scarred for life in a horrific knife attack is calling for tougher knife crime laws.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 11:15 am

Sarah Holden, aged 28, was stabbed 18 times by her former best friend, Shaunna Littlewood, during a drinking session in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, in July 2017.

Sarah, who lived in Upperthorpe, Sheffield, was tied to a bed and repeatedly knifed by her friend of 17 years.

She was stabbed in her legs, abdomen, chest, neck and face and suffered internal bleeding from a stab wound close to her heart as well as a collapsed lung.

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Sarah Holden was stabbed 18 times

Littlewood was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of seven years behind bars after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

Sarah, who recalled her ordeal in a new documentary The War on Knife Crime, which can be viewed in Facebook or YouTube, told The Star that knife crime laws should be tougher to serve as a deterrent.

“Shaunna pleaded guilty to attempted murder but may only serve seven years – that does not seem very long for trying to kill someone,” Sarah said.

“We have some of the strictest laws around gun crime in this country, why is it not similar for knife crime? Knives are just as deadly but much more accessible.

“The police need to get tougher and anyone found carrying a knife should be automatically jailed. A slap on the wrist is not good enough.”

Sarah, who left Sheffield after the stabbing to start a new life, spent 19 days in hospital after undergoing emergency open heart surgery.

She also needed 42 staples to repair gaping knife wounds to her stomach.

A part of her healing process she has visited her attacker twice in prison as part of a scheme run by the charity Remedi, which offers victims and offenders the opportunity to talk to help them move forward.

“I’ve seen her twice. The first time she cried a lot and the second she talked a lot about what she is doing in prison. I’ve not seen her since 2018 and won’t now as I’ve moved on,” she said.

“I’ve moved away to another part of the country were nobody knows me and I can start again because in Sheffield all I got was pity from people and I wanted a fresh start.”

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