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Friend told woman to hide from police after stabbing

A FRIEND of a woman who had just stabbed her girlfriend advised her how to hide from the police when she phoned him, magistrates in Haverfordwest heard on Tuesday (May 16).

Joshua Stephens, 26, of Marble Hall Road, Milford Haven, admitted advising an offender to dispose of a weapon and intending to conceal her in a vehicle to impede her arrest, knowing her to be guilty of the offence.

The court heard that on January 30, 2016, Amy Rees, who was in a lesbian relationship at the time, had had ‘a domestic dispute’. She rang Stephens to tell him that she had stabbed her partner with a carving knife.

“Fortunately the injuries caused were minor ones, but there was clear intent,” prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones said, adding that Rees had already been sentenced at Crown Court for the offence.

After she had stabbed her partner, Rees ‘appeared to panic’ and initially texted Stephens before phoning him to ask what to do.

Stephens then said that he would pick her up, advising her to hide between two parked cars and throw the knife under a vehicle.

However, he was stopped by the police on the way to collect her. He gave officers the phone, and police spoke to Rees, who told them that she had a knife and intended to harm herself.

After police were sent to find Rees, Stephens phoned her again, offering to help, but police picked her up within a short time.

“Had he actually picked her up, this would be far more serious,” Mr Pritchard-Jones commented.

He also noted that Stephens handed the phone to the police of his own volition.

Speaking in mitigation, Jonathan Webb said he understood that the carving knife had actually been a carving fork. He added that Stephens had not only given his phone to police, but had given them a recording of the conversation between him and Rees in an interview, which was used as part of the prosecution.

Noting that the case was somewhat unusual, Mr Webb advised the Bench that ‘I doubt very much that there is anything in your sentencing guidelines which covers this type of scenario’.

He added that since this offence, Stephens had been subject to two community orders – one of which was for arson on a toilet block in Haverfordwest last year.

Magistrates dealt with the matter by way of an 18 month conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay costs totalling £105