Student nurse fought for life after stab attack

Leeds City Bus Station closed because of a police incident mon 18th april 2011
Leeds City Bus Station closed because of a police incident mon 18th april 2011

A STUDENT nurse stabbed in the back by a mentally ill woman who thought she was her mother, was left fighting for her life.

Tanya Mitcham, from Crigglestone, was waiting for a bus in Leeds city centre when she was stabbed three times in broad daylight during an unprovoked attack by Rebecca Jackson.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp told Leeds Crown Court that Jackson had attended an observational ward at Leeds General Infirmary that day and told a nurse she wanted to kill her mother.

Jackson, who has an emotional unstable personality disorder, walked out of the hospital and sent a text to a friend saying she was going to kill her mother.

She then stole a knife from a shop and went to the bus station and carried out the horrifying attack.

Miss Mitcham broke down in tears as she told the court she did not realise she had been stabbed until she saw the blade.

She said: “I felt like someone was punching me. I touched my arm and I felt the blood and started to scream.

“Everyone seemed to be staring at me when I was shouting to phone an ambulance. I didn’t feel like anyone was going to help me. I started stumbling backwards.”

Holly Petit, a student support worker, treated Miss Mitcham until an ambulance arrived and took her to Leeds General Infirmary.

She underwent surgery to repair life-threatening wounds to an artery, a vein and either side of her spine.

She has been left with scarring to her left shoulder, left arm and back.

After the attack at 11.30am on April 18 last year, Jackson was seen walking around Leeds city centre carrying the knife with blood dripping from her hands.

When arrested she told police she thought she had stabbed her mother.

Jackson was charged with attempted murder but was not mentally fit to plead.

The jury returned a verdict that she had carried out the act she was charged with.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, detained her under the Mental Health Act and said she posed a risk to the public.

He issued a hospital order and said she would remain at Calverton Hill Hospital, Nottingham.

Miss Mitcham, 20 at the time of the attack, has been unable to continue her nursing studies since the traumatic attack.