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Cliftonville mum-of-seven Jacqueline Rolfe facing jail for stabbing Jade Williams after night out

By Mary Louis
Canterbury Crown Court

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

A pregnant mother-of-seven is facing jail after she lost control and stabbed her boyfriend's sister after a drink and drugs-fuelled night out.
 
Jacqueline Rolfe, of Norfolk Road, Cliftonville, denied maliciously and unlawfully wounding Jade Williams, causing grievous bodily harm, with a six-inch kitchen knife.
 
But the 32-year-old was found guilty by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court, who rejected an alternative less serious charge.
 
Victim Miss Williams, 21, told the court she had retracted her original statement.
 
She told Judge Heather Norton: “I just want this all to be over, there has been a lot of stress through this case, we all just want to move on now."
 
Miss Williams said she did not want to answer questions about the night that "was all a blur", but was ordered to respond by the judge.
 
Edward Connell, prosecuting, said the women had met at 11pm on December 8 last year. 
 
They had gone out drinking at Kabuki, in Margate, and then Club Caprice. The pair left at 4am to return to Rolfe's house.
 
Rolfe went upstairs and woke her partner and there was an argument.
 
Miss Williams tried to stop the row and asked Rolfe to come down with her. The couple's argument had got worse and louder.
 
The relationship between the women had been "really good, we are family, there are no problems between us," said Miss Williams. Rolfe had been with her brother Sam O'Brien for "about 10 years".
 
The case was heard by Judge Heather Norton

Judge Heather Norton passed sentence

 
Mr O'Brien had got up and gone out, but the argument continued between him and Rolfe by phone.
 
Miss Williams told police: "She was really angry and started throwing things, chairs and toys. We were both very drunk and that was probably a big part of it." She continued to try and calm down Rolfe, who had gone into to the kitchen.
 
Rolfe pulled out drawers and threw them across the room, the court heard.
 
Miss Williams had told her: "Stop. The kids." Three of Rolfe's children had been upstairs including the youngest, aged just one.
 
Rolfe became more agitated and had "flown" at Miss Williams. The younger woman felt a punch-like pressure on her left side, just below her rib cage - but did not think she had been injured.
"This is a very serious offence, it will result in immediate custody - you should prepare yourself..." - Judge Heather Norton
 
Miss Williams then saw that Rolfe was holding a large kitchen knife with a six-inch blade. Rolfe had started cutting her wrists, she said, and there had been blood.
 
Miss Williams' main concern had been the children. "I thought, I had to get them out of here," she said. She had gone upstairs to get them from the room of the eldest, aged 13.
 
Noticing blood on her shirt, she panicked and took the children outside before calling an ambulance.
 
Miss Williams was taken to hospital and treated for cut 2cm long and 2cm deep.
 
Police returned to the house and found a television lying on its side, a smashed window and drips of blood on the floor.
 
Rolfe was found by police in Northdown Road with self-inflicted injuries and was taken to hospital.
 
The mother told officers there was cocaine in her handbag. She said she had been sharing it with Miss Williams the previous night and had not wanted her children to find it. 
 
She also told police she had drunk a bottle of wine and vodka before going out and  had been "merry".
 
Rolfe later remembered throwing things in the kitchen and admitted she had been "totally out of control".
Scales of justice
 
She had told police: "I did not intentionally stab my sister-in-law. I don't know what I was doing, I never meant to hurt her."
 
Alistair Richardson, defending, said the prosecution case was based only on the evidence of Miss Williams and was "inherently weak". Miss Wiliams had admitted she had been drinking for 14 hours beforehand.
 
Judge Norton said, although Miss Williams signed a retraction statement and had been reluctant to give evidence, she had not at any point said her original statement was false.
 
The judge adjourned sentencing for reports, telling Rolfe: "This is a very serious offence, it will result in immediate custody - you should prepare yourself.
 
"I am aware of the very different and unusual background into this offence and will take into account all the options."
 
Judge Norton added: "The complainant is particularly anxious to resume relations with the complainant as soon as possible. They were clearly on good terms."
 
Rolfe declined to give evidence in court but after the hearing, at which she had been supported by Mr O'Brien, she said she could remember nothing about the night.
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