A woman suffered multiple stab wounds and another was grabbed by the neck after a name-calling dispute boiled over in public on a street on a hot summer day.

Rachel Shaw responded to the goading by running from her home in Durham armed with a craft knife, crossing Sunderland Road and confronting another woman, in full glare of young children outside The Old Cinema Launderette, on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 13.

Durham Crown Court heard that she grabbed the smaller woman by the throat but was then confronted, herself, by a taller woman who threw punches in her direction.

Shaw, in response, then lashed out with the knife, making contact with the taller woman at least three or four times, causing stabbing injuries to her thigh, abdomen, neck and arm.

The Northern Echo: Rachel Shaw, jailed for stabbing another woman and grabbing the neck of another in a dispute

Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said the injuries, of up to nine centimetres in length, were inflicted with a “slashing” motion.

Police and ambulances were called  and the victim was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for treatment.

Read more: Durham Incident LIVE : Woman charged following 'stabbing'

Following a break in the hearing for Miss Buck to further investigate the extent of the injuries, the court heard that those to the neck, which could have proved fatal, were considered “superficial” and were treated with stitches, as were the other wounds.

The injury to the abdomen, however, required surgical intervention to check the extent of damage, but there was found to be no penetration of any organ or significant blood vessel.

Judge Jo Kidd said in the absence of any further information, “it would appear there were no further physical consequences”.

Shaw, 43, of Kepier Crescent, Gilesgate Moor, Durham, admitted unlawful wounding, assault by beating and possession of a knife in public at her first appearance before the crown court, on July 17.

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Sentence was adjourned to allow for the preparation of psychiatric and Probation Service backgrounds reports on the defendant, who has remained remanded in custody since her arrest after the incident.

Tony Davis, for Shaw, told Thursday's (September 14) sentencing hearing that the reports set out the fact that the defendant, “is clearly a lady with significant problems”, including drug and alcohol issues, as well as health concerns.

“It’s very clear there was some very significant goading from the first lady involved.”

Judge Kidd responded: “I’m satisfied there has been something of a background in this case and, at the point Miss Shaw left her property, she was significantly intoxicated by a combination of alcohol and drugs.

“And, she left that property in possession of a Stanley knife.”

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Mr Davis told the judge: “She clearly received some swift and condign punishment which was meted out to her at the scene, but it also brought her before your honour.”

He told the court that there have been, “positive aspects” to her three-month-plus remand in custody, which he said have had, “a salutary effect on her”.

Mr Davis said despite the defendant’s health issues, for which she is awaiting further updates, it had to be accepted that there has also been, “a great deal of self-abuse which has been a contributary factor” to her problems.

He said, in particular, “it’s the use of crack cocaine that has put her over the edge.”

But he said while in custody she has engaged with the agencies available to inmates to address her drug and alcohol issues.

Mr Davis added that the defendant is, “not inherently violent, and this was a special situation brought about by the level of goading.”

Judge Kerr told Shaw: “You were significantly under the influence of a combination of alcohol and crack cocaine at the time of the commission of these offences.

“It would seem there was some background by way of argument with your two victims.

“You chose to arm yourself with a Stanley knife, however, and, in the presence of young children, grabbed the first victim by the neck.

“Then, during the course of the struggle with the other woman, you stabbed her on up to four occasions, to her neck, thankfully superficially, to her thigh and to her abdomen.

“Each of these separate wounds could have led to fatal results due to the location of the injuries.

Read next:

Woman arrested after Gilesgate, Durham 'stabbing' incident

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“Each required stitches, and, the abdominal one required exploratory surgery to see if it penetrated any organ or major blood vessel.

“Thankfully, it had not, but that was not as a result of any caution on your part. It was a matter of luck.”

Imposing a total sentence of 24 months behind bars, Judge Kidd she was of the belief that the defendant requires further assistance in a custodial setting to help her fully overcome her issues with drink and drugs.