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'Freddy Krueger' birthday party slashing sees Herne Bay mum facing jail

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A mum who knifed her friend at a birthday party claimed she was the victim and looked like "something out of Freddy Krueger".

Gemma Sparks, 38, denied slashing Kimberly King’s body and limbs six times during a fight in Herne Bay in August 2020 and said she was so badly cut in the fracas a friend compared her to something out of a horror film featuring the nightmarish villain.

Gemma Sparks, 38, formerly of Herne Bay but now living in London
Gemma Sparks, 38, formerly of Herne Bay but now living in London

The mother-of-one told a trial at Canterbury Crown Court she acted in self-defence but was convicted of wounding with intent on Tuesday.

Giving evidence, Sparks argued she was unaware how Miss King suffered multiple injuries after “flying” at her with a blade.

And she tried convincing jurors her own minor injuries were so severe she looked like a victim from a horror film.

But jurors found her guilty by majority after deliberating for five hours.

Giving evidence, Sparks said: “(Kimberly) just came flying at me with the knife and stabbed me in the head with it, I spun her around and then threw (the knife) and ran.

“My face was pouring with blood when I got back in the car, my friend said I looked like something out of Freddy Krueger, and they were wiping me down.”

The pair clashed in the doorway of Miss King’s family home during a celebration for her brother Darren’s birthday.

Sparks said after taking a line of cocaine during a trip to the amusement arcade, Miss King invited her to the address in Sunnyhill Road to collect owed money.

But she claimed rather than handing her the £50, Miss King attacked her with a knife.

However, prosecutors argued Sparks’ injuries were inconsistent with a knife wound and she herself was the aggressor.

A photo of her injuries presented in court merely showed slight parting of the skin to her forehead and beneath her right eye, accompanied with bruising and minor swelling.

Freddy Krueger Picture: James Dittiger/New Line Productions/Entertainment Films
Freddy Krueger Picture: James Dittiger/New Line Productions/Entertainment Films

Peter Forbes, prosecuting, said: “It is a small cut isn’t it, to your head - did you seek any medical attention?”.

"No,” Sparks replied.

“Is this right, that you brought a knife with you?” Asked Mr Forbes.

“No,” Sparks protested.

“Is this right, that you decided you were going to use that on Kim King before you even got there?” Mr Forbes continued.

“No,” replied Sparks.

“It’s true isn’t it, that you attacked her with a knife,” insisted Mr Forbes.

“No, no,” Sparks objected.

“There was no need to cut her on the arm, and the other arm and in the back of her shoulder.

“Is this right, that you intended to cause her really serious injury and that is why you injured her with a knife?” said Mr Forbes.

“No, no,” Sparks replied.

“Is this right, that you didn’t contact the police because you knew you were at fault?” said Mr Forbes, ending his cross-examination.

“No,” said Sparks, visibly shaking in the witness box.

The court heard Miss King suffered six wounds to her body and, after being rushed by road to Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital, was discharged on August 16.

Darren King, Kimberly's brother, told how his birthday party descended into chaos following the ordeal.

He described his sister “sitting in a chair in the kitchen with wounds over her body."

“Everyone (was) panicking trying to hold them together,” he continued.

Meanwhile, officers continued to hunt for Sparks when PC Ames detected her red Vauxhall Astra on the M2 during the afternoon of August 21.

Following her arrest, Sparks, formerly of Herne Bay but now living in London, denied the assault in a prepared statement at Canterbury Police Station.

Sparks, who was acquitted of possessing a blade in a public place, was released on conditional bail.

She will be sentenced at the same court on June 24.

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