Girl left for dead in field after cousin stabs her 27 times in face and chest
An 18-year-old girl was left for dead in a field after her cousin stabbed her 27 times in the face and torso.
Joel Gregory attacked his younger cousin before burning his own clothes in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Gregory, 20, was found guilty of attempted murder for stabbing his cousin after telling her she was his "favourite cousin".
At Luton Crown Court yesterday, August 27, Bethanie MacSweeney recalled the violent incident and revealed she is now having counselling to rebuild her life.
She told the court how she 'trusted' her older cousin, reports Herts Live.
Gregory, 20, of no fixed address, arranged to meet his cousin at The Midland Pub in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire on Tuesday, February 25 earlier this year.
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On that night, the pair had one drink at the pub before moving on to Redz Bar in the High Street to play a game of pool, the court heard.
Before arriving at the bar, Gregory hid a knife down an alleyway. They both spent several hours in the bar before catching a taxi to Chambersbury Lane, on the edge of Bunker’s Park, just before midnight.
After getting out of the taxi, they began walking across the park while chatting when, without warning, Gregory began attacking his cousin with the 12-inch kitchen knife he had previously hidden.
He stabbed Bethanie 27 times, causing extensive injuries to her face and torso, and defence wounds to her hands.
She also lost a tooth during the attack. Gregory then put his hand over her mouth, causing her to fall unconscious.
He left Bethanie lying in the field and ran back to his mother’s home in Leverstock Green, where he burned his clothes in a bid to conceal evidence.
When Bethanie regained consciousness around 15 minutes later, she managed to get up and run towards a nearby house to ask for help. By this time she was bleeding heavily from her injuries and in great distress.
On hearing her cries for help, the occupant of the property called both the police and the ambulance service. Officers arrived at the location within two minutes and paramedics took Bethanie to hospital for treatment.
Gregory was arrested less than two hours later before he was taken into custody and interviewed. He was later charged and remanded back into custody.
He was found guilty of attempted murder at a previous court hearing last Friday (August 21).
In her witness impact statement, Bethanie said: "When I went out with my cousin Joel I thought I would be safe. I trusted him completely, he is my cousin, older than me and a man so I knew he would look after me.
"Even in the moments before he attacked me I felt comfortable with him and had no reason to think he would try and kill me. When the attack started it was so sudden and unexpected. The main thing that I remember is the fear and the feeling that I was going to die, it was so hard to breathe.
"Since the attack, I have been having nightmares. The fear is indescribable and I am unable to fully articulate how awful each day is for me. I am going to have counselling and try and rebuild my life. I will never forget or get over what he did to me and I can never forgive him, not for just trying to kill me but for breaching my trust and taking advantage of me."
Once Gregory has served his custodial sentence, he will serve an extended licence period of four years.
Judge Andrew Bright told Gregory he would have to serve two-thirds of the custodial term before the parole board considers his release.
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