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Three jailed after woman stabbed in Canterbury

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A “thuggish” young mum who stabbed a rival with a kitchen knife in a revenge attack will give birth behind bars.

Mother-of-two Naomi Roberts, 20, plunged the blade into Channey Smith’s leg as boyfriend Frederick Lamb, 19, kicked her head “like an American football.”

Naomi Roberts hides her face as she leaves court
Naomi Roberts hides her face as she leaves court

The duo, alongside Naomi’s brother George Roberts, 21, were yesterday locked up by a judge at Canterbury Crown Court for the “vicious, thuggish violence.”

Naomi, who is due to give birth in June, threatened to kill Miss Smith over Facebook, saying she would “have to fight like a true traveller girl”.

The threats flowed from a family feud which, once Miss Smith was ambushed, would erupt in a sustained revenge beating, leaving her deeply traumatised and fleeing Kent.

The gang rounded on Miss Smith in a cut-through behind garages in Brymore Road, Canterbury, in February 2019.

Naomi led the charge, dragging Miss Smith to the floor before aiming the knife towards her ribcage. But after Miss Smith grabbed the blade, causing a cut to her hand, Naomi stabbed her in the left calf.

George Roberts is alleged to have held a kitchen knife to the woman's throat
George Roberts is alleged to have held a kitchen knife to the woman's throat

Lamb would rain down repeated kicks, the final blow delivered to her head “like how an American football kicks the ball through the posts,” Miss Smith said during the trial.

She described how her head bounced off the floor, leaving her ears “ringing,” before the trio fled.

The gang has continued to deny the attack despite being convicted following a trial last year.

All three denied a knife was pulled and claimed Miss Smith became injured as they acted in self-defence.

But jurors convicted Naomi unanimously of wounding with intent, while clearing George and Lamb of the same charge.

“I’m scared of being out when it gets dark, I’m worried someone will see me and attack me...”

However, they convicted the pair of unlawful wounding, a lesser charge, after deliberating for nine hours.

Kieran Brand told jurors Naomi threatened Miss Smith on Facebook, saying “I’m going to kill ya,” prosecutor Kieran Brand told jurors.

“She threatened to beat her and told her she would have to stand there and fight her like a true traveller girl," the prosecutor said.

Miss Smith and the trio clashed following a Prince’s Trust workshop when, as the situation turned sinister, George passed Naomi the knife, Mr Brand argued.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Weekes labelled the assault “clearly motivated by revenge” and “vicious thuggish violence.”

Frederick Lamb is alleged to have kicked the woman's head like a football
Frederick Lamb is alleged to have kicked the woman's head like a football

“The knife was taken to the scene by you, George Roberts. It was given to you, Naomi Roberts, who attacked her," he said.

Naomi, who has two children with Lamb, was sentence to three years and eight months in a Young Offenders’ Institute (YOI).

She will be allowed to raise her newborn child in the maternity wing for 18 months, subject to review.

All three defendants were of previous good character, their lawyers argued.

Paul Hogben, mitigating, highlighted how Naomi was under 18 at the time of the attack, argued she was not in a leading role, and said the attack was “not deliberately long or persistent.”

“This was not a plot where they put their heads together to a significant degree,” he said.

George and Lamb’s lawyers also highlighted their respective youth and immaturity at the time of the attack.

Ben Irwin, mitigating for Lamb, added he had a troubled childhood and didn’t produce the knife, while Miss Smith had made a physical recovery.

But Miss Smith told the court of her mental trauma and decision to flee Kent.

“I have moved away from Canterbury because I was afraid of the repercussions of going to the police," she said.

“I’m scared of being out when it gets dark. I’m worried someone will see me and attack me.”

Miss Smith added she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep issues and flashbacks following her ordeal.

Her attackers, all of Radfall Rise, Whitstable, remained passive throughout the sentencing hearing.

Lamb was sentenced to 10 months in a YOI, and George was jailed for two years and nine months.

Benjamin Deskaj, 22, a friend of the trio, was acquitted of intimidating an eyewitness of the attack.

He was alleged to have approached the girl in Canterbury city centre, telling her the other defendants knew where she lived.

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