A woman who survived a vicious knife attack has commended a police drive to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying bladed weapons.
Katie Charlton’s world was turned upside down, last January, when she was one of two people slashed with a knife following a dispute at a party in Boldon Colliery.
I just don’t understand why anyone would want to carry a knife.Katie Charlton
The 22-year-old was left with a 10cm scar on her face, from her left cheek to her chin, and needed 30 stitches in her face and shoulder.
She was also left needing to learn how to talk and eat again.
More than a year on, Katie still has the scars from the attack but says she is now slowly starting to rebuild her life after she was left with her confidence in tatters.
This week, police have been raising awareness of the impact knife crime can have on families and communities.
The move is aimed at driving home the message that being armed with a knife on the streets of South Tyneside will not be tolerated.
They also hope it will encourage people to discuss the impact of knife crime to prevent it from happening.
In the run up to the campaign, officers have been visiting schools to talk to pupils of the dangers of carrying knives, on top of the work they undertake on a daily basis around the issue.
Police say South Tyneside does not have a knife criume problem on the scale seen in other parts of the country.
Backing the police campaign, Katie, who is now hoping to secure a job as a carer after rebuilding her life, said: “I’m starting to deal with the changes to my face and getting there slowly.
“What happened knocked my confidence. People who carry knives are cowards, I just don’t understand why anyone would want to carry a knife.
“More needs to be done to highlight the impact knife crime can have on people’s lives, and parents should talk to their kids about it.
“Anything which gets the message out there has to be commended and a good thing.”
Stephen Thompson was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for five and half-years after he admitted charges of wounding, wounding with intent, possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis, last November.