Teen jailed for arming herself with knife in Leeds park fight

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A TEENAGER has been jailed for arming herself with a carving knife after arranging through Facebook to fight a rival girl in a park over a boyfriend.

Rebecca Rawlings, 17, took a knife with a 22-centimetre long blade along with her to face the 14-year-old in East End Park, Leeds.

A court heard the youngster suffered a minor cut to her hand in the clash as friends intervened and pulled Rawlings away.

Police arrested Rawlings, who had been drinking cider, shortly after the incident in February this year.

She told officers she had the knife because she intended to use it to stab the other girl.

Rawlings, now aged 18, was locked up for eight months yesterday after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.

Judge Sally Cahill, QC, said: “It is fortunate no one was seriously injured by this knife.

“You went out planning to have that knife. You took it to a public park and you had taken alcohol that day.

“You told police you had taken the knife because you were going to stab the complainant.”

The judge added: “Because of the aggravating features, immediate custody is the only sentence.”

Leeds Crown Court heard Rawlings had been drinking cider and her aunt’s house shortly before the incident and had been in contact with the girl via Facebook.

Sam Andrews mitigating, said: “They arranged to meet close by in East End Park to have a fight. Miss Rawlings armed herself with the knife.”

The court heard the 14-year-old girl managed to fend Rawlings away with her hand before others intervened and took the weapon from her.

The knife was thrown into a garden but was found by police after they arrested Rawlings.

Mr Andrews said: “The defendant said in interview that she had drank three glasses of cider. She wasn’t drunk but was bored.”

Rawlings also told officers that she had confronted the girl as she had been “acting hard.”

Rawlings, of Glensdale Street, East End Park, claimed the girl had been seeing her boyfriend.

Kenton Sergeant, mitigating, said: “She understands how serious the offence is. It is not that she is in the habit of carrying a knife as a weapon.” He added: “This is an offence very much with a background that is unique and personal to her,”

Mr Sergeant said Rawlings was sorry for what she had done and had the support of her family.

He said she had now moved away from the area to another part of the city to avoid further trouble. The lawyer added: “She was 17 when this occurred. She is now 18 and a lot growing up needs to be done.”

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