'Victim of mob culture' walks free after stabbing party gatecrasher (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Redcar teenager walks free after stabbing party gatecrasher
A TEENAGER who stabbed a gate-crasher to her home walked free after a judge said she was the victim of a mob culture.
Ashleigh George knifed the 20-year-old in the back after he and a group of friends forced their way into her flat for a party.
The 17-year-old was said to have been terrified when the lad and another started to fight and pulled blades on each other.
She grabbed a knife from the kitchen and sunk it into the back of one of the unwelcome guests, Teesside Crown Court heard.
George's solicitor said the teenager wanted to "remove the behaviour from her property" in High Street, Redcar, last October.
Rachel Dyson, mitigating, said a gang of youths took advantage of the fact she had a flat and wanted to have a party there.
Miss Dyson told Judge John Walford that George tried to resist "time and again" but could not stop the group getting in.
The sympathetic judge imposed what he said was "an exceptional" youth rehabilitation order with 18 months of supervision.
"If I was to send you to prison, as many may think you deserve, it would be a set-back to your attempts to achieve something in life'" he said.
"I am conscious that the sentence I am going to pass may seem like a limp response to the use of a knife, but in the exceptional circumstances . . ."
He added: "You found yourself the victim of an unwelcome, unsavoury group of people who were drunk and became violent.
"What happened that night is, in many ways, an indictment of certain areas of society today that a mob of young men, drunk, violent, bent on what they perceive to be pleasure, forced their way into your flat.
"Despite being an independent and resilient girl, you understandably, in my judgement, didn't have the experience or the ability to cope with what must have been a frightening incident - an incident that became more frightening when the men who had forced their way into your flat became violent amongst each other and caused damage.
"You reacted in an horrific way, as I hope you appreciate."
George, now of Haddon Street, Middlesbrough, admitted a charge of unlawful wounding at an earlier court hearing.
Judge Walford said: "This was a group of people who are borderline lawless in most of what they do, and they were just continuing in feckless, drunken, hedonistic behaviour."