A woman who slashed the throats of two children as they slept was told by a judge that she would not be sent to prison because she was ‘temporarily insane’ due to heavy cannabis use.
Sadie Jenkins, 28, of no fixed abode, was staying overnight in the home in Newport, South Wales when she went into the bedroom of a 16-month-old girl and a seven-year-old boy, carrying a steak knife.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Jenkins, 28, slashed the two children, when the two homeowners entered room and disarmed her.
As they grappled with Jenkins, she shouted: ‘Sorry, it had to be done.’
The baby girl’s throat was ‘slashed open and bleeding’ and the boy’s neck had a ‘gaping wound’ at the house in Newport, South Wales.
The two injured children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital and underwent immediate surgery to treat
A judge today imposed a two-year supervision order on Jenkins ordering her to be drug tested frequently and provide body samples at least once a week.
Mrs Justice Carr told Jenkins: ‘At the time of the attack you were in the grip of psychosis as a result of illegal drug taking on a a daily basis and you deliberately withheld information from your GP.
‘Once can only hope that you understand the consequences of drug taking.’
But the judge told Cardiff Crown Court she was ‘troubled’ by the fact that under the supervision order there was no provision for medical treatment.
The court heard that the boy suffered an 8cm wound to his neck which made the ‘deep structures in his neck visible’ and required 20 stitches.
The 16-month-old girl was left with a 6cm-long injury which had cut through the skin, fat and muscle and needed 15 stitches to close.
Jenkins, of no fixed abode, denied the attempted murder of the two children and claimed she was ‘legally insane’ at the time of the attack because her prolonged drug use had made her psychotic.
Prosecutor Paul Lewis said: ‘She has been seen my mental health professionals and two consultant forensic psychiatrists have come to the conclusion that at the crucial time she was suffering from an amphetamine induced psychotic illness.
‘The doctors are of the opinion that when she attacked the children, her mental condition was such that she knew what she was doing but she didn’t know that her actions were wrong.’
Jenkins told doctors she thought she was saving the children from “a fate worse than death” when she slashed their throats.
Her lawyer Patrick Harrington QC told the court: ‘She vociferously asserts she is living a decent honest life now.
‘She has tested negative in every drug test and then indications are she is not taking any substances.’
Jenkins believed that the mafia were out to get her and that she had received a secret message from US TV show CSI.
She told a doctor: ‘I picked up the sharpest knife because I wanted it to
be quick and easy.’
The court heard that Jenkins started smoking cannabis aged 11 after being bullied in school and suffering the death of her father.
On Friday she sobbed quietly in the dock at Cardiff Crown Court as as order under the Mental Health Act was made by Mrs Justice Carr.
She told Miss Jenkins: ‘This has been a tragedy for the children. They will be physically and emotionally scared forever.
‘You were under stresses at the time but there was no excuse for your drug-taking.’
The court heard medical experts had agreed Miss Jenkins did not need hospital treatment and the judge said an absolute discharge – one of the other disposals available to the court under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 following the jury’s verdict – was not appropriate.
The only other option was intensive supervision under a named supervising officer.
The judge said the officer would be ‘carrying a heavy burden’ but was aware of what she was taking on.
Patrick Harrington QC, for Jenkins, who has now been found accommodation at an undisclosed address, said the offcer was ‘going into it with her eyes open’ having fully appraised herself of the situation and of Miss Jenkins’ background.
The judge told Miss Jenkins, of Newport: ‘For some months [prior to the attack] you had been taking amphetamine on a daily basis – information you deliberately withheld from your GP.
‘One can only hope now that you understand the consequences of your drug-taking and the wider public also understands.’