Woman, 51, stabbed former friend in the back with bread knife after drinking binge

Marie Byrne has been jailed for four years. ( Nottinghamshire Police)
Marie Byrne has been jailed for four years. ( Nottinghamshire Police)

A woman who stabbed her friend in a drunken rage believing she was having an affair with her partner has been jailed for four years.

Marie Byrne, 51, used a six-inch bread knife to attack her victim, 58, in the "delusional belief" of the sexual relationship.

She had bashed her former friend's head on the floor repeatedly - almost knocking her unconscious -before knifing her twice in the back at around 3am on 1 March this year in Nottinghamshire.

Nottingham Crown Court was told Byrne, the victim and Byrne’s partner had been drinking heavily in the hours before, and Byrne became angry as she made claims about the victim having a relationship with her partner behind her back.

When her partner returned from buying more alcohol, Byrne’s mood worsened further and she attacked her victim, before picking up the knife.

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Byrne then fell close to the sink where she picked up the knife and stabbed the victim.

Police and paramedics arrived at the scene quickly, and Byrne admitted to officers she had stabbed the woman.

Byrne’s partner had recorded much of the attack on his mobile phone and Byrne admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Sentencing Byrne, Judge Stuart Rafferty told her: “You were angry to the point of challenging both of them and attacking her, bashing her head against the floor until she was effectively unconscious.

“But even then that was not enough. You sought a weapon and you used it.”

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Judge Rafferty also told Byrne if the blows had landed elsewhere on the victim’s body she could have been facing a life sentence for murder.

He said Byrne’s "delusion belief" she was being cheated on was "wholly false" and on a "drunken premise".

The judge urged Byrne to ‘confront her demons’ while serving her time in prison and said she has ‘plenty of life left to live’ but only if she chooses to do so.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Malik said: “This was a wholly unnecessary assault brought about by heavy drinking and which left the victim with traumatic injuries.

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“Unsurprisingly, this incident has had a very severe impact on her physically and emotionally, and I am pleased justice has now been served.

“As is the case with many incidents of this type, the injuries inflicted could very easily have been even worse. I hope this case serves as a warning to others, whenever a knife is used against another there is always the risk of fatal consequences. Being heavily intoxicated increases the risks.

“This is a very sad case which has had a serious impact on the victim, Byrne and others.”

The court heard the victim has recovered well physically from the attack but had been left with emotional scars and was considering moving away."