Mexborough girl jailed for seven years for knife attack on pregnant woman

Convicted - Briony Bayston.
Convicted - Briony Bayston.

A teenage girl who stabbed a pregnant woman leaving her scarred for life after a row on Facebook has been locked up for seven years.

Briony Bayston, 17, was jailed for stabbing and slashing pregnant Hannah Epton with a kitchen knife after an argument on the social networking site spiralled out of control, a court heard.

Miss Epton, who was six months pregnant at the time of the attack in Mexborough, 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 the defendant 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 made towards Miss Epton and her unborn child.

“This was something which horrified the complainant, she resented what was being said and decided to go and speak to the defendant.”

Miss Epton was driven to Bayston’s home in Woodfield Avenue, Mexborough, by her partner.

“The defendant came out and started making derogatory comments towards the complainant.

“The complainant does accept she was angry and upset and wanted to know why such comments had been made about her and her unborn child.”

Miss Tate said Bayston, who had armed herself with a five inch kitchen knife, ‘threw her arms towards Miss Epton three to six times’.

“She realised that she was bleeding and then realised the defendant had a knife.”

Bayston shouted: “I’ll kill you and slash you both up.”

In a victim statement Miss Epton said she’d been left with a cut on her forehead and two cuts to her upper arms one of which had caused nerve damage.

Bayston pleaded guilty to wounding.

Edward Moss, mitigating, said she armed herself in self defence because she thought Miss Epton had come to hurt her.

Jailing her for seven years, Judge Peter Kelson QC said: “This was an appalling offence, you will know that, everybody knows it when they hear the case outlined.

“It seems like an argument that got out of hand and some very unpleasant things were being said.

“You, for reasons best known to yourself, armed yourself with a five-inch long bladed knife, came out of your house and launched a surprise attack on her involving stabbing and slashing.”

Imposing a lifelong restraining order he said: “You must not contact her by social media, Facebook, Twitter or text. No contact at all.”