Lauren Walsh repeatedly knifed Kelsey Gielinck and is accused of also stabbing the young mum’s boyfriend, Wesley Pemberton, before using her card to go shopping on the morning of the attack
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A nursery worker who stabbed her best friend 18 times was today found guilty of attempting to murder her.
Lauren Walsh repeatedly knifed Kelsey Gielinck and is also accused of stabbing the young mum’s boyfriend, Wesley Pemberton.
Walsh, of West Derby, has admitted wounding both victims with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
She has also admitted the theft of Miss Gielinck’s bank card, which she used to spend £144 at Home Bargains and Tesco on the morning of the attack, reports the Liverpool Echo.
But the 22-year-old denied attempting to murder Miss Gielinck, and still denies attempting to murder Mr Pemberton, at the couple’s home in Old Swan.
This afternoon, a jury found Walsh guilty of attempting to murder Ms Gielinck, by a majority of 10-2, after almost 11 hours of deliberation at Liverpool Crown Court.
Walsh wasn’t present in the dock for the verdict because she has been required to self-isolate, but Miss Gielinck cried in the public gallery and was consoled by members of her family.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, then asked the jury to retire, to resume its deliberations in relation to the allegation that Walsh attempted to murder Mr Pemberton.
After around 50 minutes, he invited the jury back into court and asked the jury foreman: “Do you consider if I were to give the jury further time, they would be able to reach a verdict upon which at least 10 of you are agreed, or do you consider that the time has now come when any further time would not be fruitful?”
Judge Aubrey said: “I emphasise that there is no pressure of time whatsoever. But if you do not consider there is a realistic prospect of reaching a verdict upon which at least 10 of you are agreed, then you must say so.”
The jury foreman asked to retire so he and the other 11 jurors could consider the judge’s question, before they returned to the courtroom.
Judge Aubrey said: “If I was to give you, the jury, some further time to continue with your deliberations tomorrow, do you think that would assist, or would that be a fruitless task?”
The jury foreman replied: “I think it may assist.”
Judge Aubrey said the jury will resume its deliberations tomorrow from 10am.
The trial, which has lasted six days so far, has heard Ms Gielinck suffered wounds to her face, chest, body and stomach, and severed the tendons in her right hand, in the incident on April 14 this year.
Prosecutors allege Walsh stabbed Miss Gielinck “without warning” that afternoon, after her friend discovered her card had been stolen and used at two stores.
Walsh has told the jury she went to her friend’s home in Southgate Road around noon to confess to the theft, but didn’t have the “courage” to do so until shortly after 3pm, when Mr Pemberton came home.
She said after she admitted to the theft, Miss Gielinck called her “a horrible person” and that she “lost control”, grabbed a kitchen knife and attacked her friend.
When Miss Gielinck gave evidence last week, she told the court she had no idea Walsh was the thief until she read about it in the ECHO the next day in hospital.
The mum said during the attack she screamed for her partner and “ragged” Walsh by the hair onto a couch then got on top of her, before pulling the knife out of her own chest, which fell to the floor.
Miss Gielinck described how when Mr Pemberton rushed in, Walsh shouted “Kelsey’s got a knife”, then picked up the blade.
The jury has heard he said “what the f***?” and pushed Walsh into the kitchen, who stabbed him in the chest and back, as he ran towards the front door.
Prosecutors suggest Walsh had locked that door and stabbed him in the hand as he grabbed its handle, before he managed to get outside and call for help.
The court has heard the couple’s next door neighbour then rushed in, before the victims were taken to hospital and Walsh was later arrested.
She has accepted intending to cause both victims serious harm, but denied that she intended to kill either of them.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.