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West Cumbria woman jailed for repeatedly stabbing lifelong pal at Boxing Day party

Victoria Lagan

A WOMAN who repeatedly stabbed a lifelong friend during a drunken Boxing Day party at her West Cumbria home has been jailed for eight years.

Banging and smashing was heard as Victoria Louise Lagan, 36, went upstairs in her Main Street address in Hensingham, Whitehaven, as she turned from merry to angry in minutes during festive drinking by herself and several others present.

After she returned downstairs, Lagan – who’d downed lager, cider and Jagermeister over several hours – first grabbed hold of friend Natalie Dockwray by the throat and pushed her in the face. Then, as Neil McLaughlin intervened, Lagan plunged a steak knife she took from the kitchen to stab him several times – into his face near his eye, into his chest and his bicep during a shocking unprovoked attack.

Mr McLaughlin, left stunned and covered in blood, was treated in hospital before being discharged.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he said in a statement, describing the impact upon him as “long-lasting and disturbing”. “I’m traumatised by what has happened. I continue to struggle in every day life.”

“We were supposed to be friends,” he added. “It is essential she cannot do this again and ruin another life as she has mine.”

Lagan made no comment during a police interview, but said upon arrest: “I will admit it all.” She admitted wounding Mr McLaughlin with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, and also assaulting Natalie Dockwray by beating.

At Carlisle Crown Court today (MON), Recorder Eric Lamb received a wealth of information about Lagan’s troubled history, and heard she was at “crisis point” at the time of the violence.

Recorder Lamb jailed her for what he said was a “sustained attack”. He added: “Those injuries could have been particularly serious.”

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