A woman caused a life-threatening injury to her partner after a holiday which was intended to patch up their “volatile” relationship ended in violence, Lincoln Crown Court was told today.
Chelsea Wilkie picked up a six-inch bladed kitchen knife to keep Luke Whitworth at bay during the dispute inside the holiday caravan where they were staying at Ingoldmells. In the struggle that followed the knife went into Mr Whitworth’s chest.
Michael Cranmer-Brown, prosecuting, said that the couple had been in the bar at the Golden Sands Holiday Park and arrived separately back at their caravan.
“There was an exchange of abuse and an incident in which he assaulted her at which point she picked up the knife to keep him at bay. It was reckless in the extreme and highly likely to lead, as did happen, to one or other of them suffering serious injury.”
Mr Cranmer-Brown said a woman staying at a neighbouring caravan looked out to see what was happening after hearing a bang. The prosecutor told the court “The female was shouting hysterically and the man was shouting that he was going to die. The defendant was saying she had killed him.”
The neighbour went to help and police were called.
Mr Cranmer-Brown said “Mr Whitworth was saying conflicting things at the scene about how he suffered the injuries blaming her at one stage and then saying he had done it himself.
“The police sergeant who attended could see Mr Whitworth was in an extremely poor state. His lips were blue and his pulse was weak. It was obvious that he was extremely seriously injured and as a result the officer arrested the defendant.”
Mr Whitworth was initially taken to hospital in Boston but later transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre. He suffered a punctured lung. After undergoing treatment he discharged himself but days later was admitted to the Kings Mill Hospital after a reaction to a clotting agent he was given led to him suffering a stroke.
Mr Cranmer-Brown said “The defendant in her interview gave an account of a turbulent relationship. She said Mr Whitworth had drink issues and he was trying to demonstrate to her that he had changed. That’s why they had gone to Ingoldmells.”
Since the incident, said Mr Cranmer-Brown, the couple have ended their relationship and each has gone their own separate way.
The court was told that at the time of the incident Wilkie was on a suspended jail sentence imposed by Nottingham Magistrates for an offence of batter arising out of an earlier incident when she threw a knife at Mr Whitworth.
Chelsea Wilkie, 24, of Vera Crescent, Rainworth, Notts, today (Tues) admitted a charge of unlawful wounding as a result of the incident on 29 August 2017.
She was given a 16 month jail sentence suspended for two years with a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 20 days.
Judge John Pini QC told her he was taking an exceptional course in not sending her to an immediate jail sentence.
He said “The offence is two years old and you have committed no further offences in that time. It is quite clear that you have substantially turned your life around.”
The judge said he took into account the fact that Mr Whitworth was reluctant to give evidence against Wilkie and has admitted that he was “half to blame” for what happened.
Alison Summers, in mitigation, said that on the night the couple had made up after arguing in the bar and on the way back to their caravan were fooling around and laughing.
Miss Summers said Wilkie accepted she had caused a life threatening injury but has turned her life around since after spending three months in custody on remand before being bailed.
She added that Wilkie is now a mother of two having given birth since the incident.
Miss Summers said “She accepts the relationship is over.”
* After the sentencing hearing Luke Whitworth,29, was brought into the dock and admitted being in contempt of court after failing to attend at the Crown Court in October last year when Wilkie was originally due to face trial. The hearing had to be adjourned to a date later in the same month but that trial also did not take place after Mr Whitworth failed to attend again. He was fined £300.