The devastating impact of a family feud erupting into a fatal stabbing was laid bare when a woman was jailed for life after she plunged a knife into her sister’s chest.

Marie Metcalfe lashed out with the knife when she came across her elder sister, Laura, scuffling with a woman in the street and pierced her heart.

The 44-year-old managed to stumble her home and her teenage son called for an ambulance but she suffered cardiac arrest and later died in hospital.

Teesside Crown Court heard there was a long-running dispute between several of the siblings with the 41-year-old murderer not speaking to her own mother for 18 years.

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In a heartbreaking victim personal statement, the victim’s teenage daughter said: “Since my mam was killed by her sister, this has affected my mental health. I am sad, anxious, and wary of people.

The Northern Echo: Laura MetcalfeLaura Metcalfe (Image: Family handout)

“If a sister can kill her own sister, then I worry about what other people can do to each other when I am walking around – I am very wary of people.

“My brother won’t talk about our mother anymore; he is traumatised about what happened. My younger brother doesn’t under stand that she isn’t coming back and it makes me upset for him.”

The judge heard how Marie Metcalfe had made a malicious allegation against her sister last summer, not long after Laura had returned to Hartlepool after living in Scotland for around 18 years.

The murderer also accused three of her sisters, including Laura, of attacking her but that was thrown out by the police earlier this year.

However, the feud came to a devastating climax on Good Friday, April 7, when the Laura was fatally stabbed in the street.

The Northern Echo: Brougham Street, Hartlepool, where Laura Metcalfe was fatally stabbed by her sister MarieBrougham Street, Hartlepool, where Laura Metcalfe was fatally stabbed by her sister Marie (Image: North News)

Judge Howard Crowson heard how the defendant had a history of violent attacks on her record, including glassing a woman and hitting a man on the head with a hammer, before he jailed her for life.

Metcalfe, of Brougham Street, Hartlepool, had pleaded guilty to murder on Monday morning when she was due to go on trial.

Ms Metcalfe’s family issued a photograph of their daughter through Cleveland Police as they paid tribute to her.

They said: “The loss of Laura, a much-loved mum, sister, daughter, and friend has destroyed our family beyond repair. We will never forget her and will love and miss her forever.”

The Northern Echo: Marie MetcalfeMarie Metcalfe (Image: Cleveland Police)

And speaking after the hearing, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Simone Bennett said: “This was a terrible, tragic incident which has had devastating and long-lasting effects on Laura’s family and on the wider community.

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“Yesterday Marie Metcalfe pleaded guilty to her sister’s murder and therefore there was no trial, which would have added to the family’s stress and trauma.

“The sentence passed today reflects the serious nature of the crime and its effects on Laura’s family.

“Marie Metcalfe will now spend a lengthy period in prison - with time to reflect on her actions that day.

“I wish Laura’s family strength and courage as they continue to come to terms with what happened to their loved one.”