Nelson knifewoman is jailed for attack on dog walker

Donna Sherwin
Donna Sherwin

A KNIFEWOMAN who lunged at her ex-partner in a midnight confrontation has been locked up for seven months.

Donna Sherwin, who has never been in trouble before, broke down as she was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court and was led away from the dock sobbing, still insisting she had not done what victim David Rushton claimed.

The hearing was told Sherwin had pulled a knife on Mr Rushton as he walked his dog in Nelson last September. She had claimed the victim had been texting her, threatening to poison her cat, put petrol through her letter box and smash her windows. The defendant had alleged he had told her he had a shotgun down his pants.

Sherwin had alleged she had put the knife in her pocket and it had fallen out of her jeans when a woman she had claimed had been with Mr Rushton had thrown her against a wall and threatened to kill her. She claimed she had not taken the knife out.

Mr Rushton had earlier told the court Sherwin had been saying he was going to get his head ripped off and was a dead man. He had said: “I was frightened. I didn’t know if I was going to get hurt or not.”

Sherwin (35), of Chapelhouse Road, Nelson, earlier admitted possessing an offensive weapon, a trial over the facts had been hold and Judge Beverly Lunt believed Mr Rushton’s version of events.

Mr Martin Hackett (for Sherwin) said she acted wholly out of character and urged the court to pass a suspended sentence.

Sherwin had lost both her parents within days of each other in January last year and had, understandably, struggled to cope. She also suffered anxiety and depression.

Mr Hackett said the defendant, who had felt vulnerable in her relationship with Mr Rushton, chose to take a knife with her to try to sort out difficulties between them.

Sherwin had worked between the ages of 16 and 32, but had had to stop because of her depression. The barrister added: “She offended in a serious way, but in my submission, she will not not be back before the courts in future.”

Sentencing, Judge Lunt said Sherwin bore a grudge against Mr Rushton, she had deliberately gone out looking to confront him and had taken the knife with her.

The judge said the defendant had told “a pack of lies” about what went on and tried to blacken Mr Rushton’s name.

She continued: “The sentence has to punish you for what you did and it must deter others from going out on the street with a knife.”