A woman has been found guilty of trying to kill her best friend and her boyfriend for no apparent reason in a frenzied attack.
Lauren Walsh used a kitchen knife from her best friend, Kelsey Gielinck’s, house to carry out the violent assault on Gielinck and her boyfriend Wesley Pemberton.
22-year-old Walsh used the knife to tap Kelsey on the breast with the blade before accusing her of killing her grandmother, who is still alive.
However, the bizarre assault took place with Walsh stabbing Gielnick on the nose before striking her with the knife a further 17 times.
Wesley Pemberton tried to intervene but was also stabbed by Walsh three times.
Walsh admitted wounding both victims with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but denied their attempted murder, during a bizarre nine-day trial.
At Liverpool Crown Court prosecutors argued she struck “without warning”, after Miss Gielinck discovered her bank card had been stolen and used at Home Bargains and Tesco.
Unbeknown to the mum-of-one, the card had actually been taken by Walsh, who then went to her friend’s home in Old Swan and pretended to console her, according to Liverpool Echo.
Nursery worker Walsh would later claim she “lost control” because Miss Gielinck called her “a horrible person” after she confessed to the theft.
But the victim said she had no idea Walsh was the thief, until she read about it in the Liverpool Echo in hospital.
Yesterday, a jury found Walsh guilty of attempting to murder Ms Gielinck, by a majority of 10-2, after almost 11 hours of deliberation.
Today they found her guilty of attempting to murder Mr Pemberton, also by a majority of 10-2, after their deliberations passed 14 hours.
The court heard Walsh wasn’t present in the dock after undergoing a Covid test, which proved negative, at Styal prison.
Her two victims cried and were comforted by members of their family.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, said Walsh would be produced in court this afternoon, ahead of a possible sentencing in the new year.
The “vicious, unprovoked, murderous attack”, which left Miss Gielinck with wounds to her face, chest, body and stomach, and severed tendons in her right hand, happened on Wednesday, April 14 this year.
Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, told the jury: “What was the reason for the attack? Who knows. Perhaps jealousy, perhaps some unknown hatred, perhaps something else festering in her mind and building up after the theft of the card.”
The two friends had worked at the same nursery and Walsh, of Packenham Road, West Derby, frequently stayed at Miss Gielinck’s home.
The victim said they were “joined at the hip” and described Walsh as a “sister” with “a heart of gold”.
But that morning, the victim received a bank notification asking to authorise a £400 payment.
Miss Gielinck rejected it and contacted her bank, who said £144 had been spent on her debit card.
The victim posted on Facebook to say she had been “scammed”.
She said Walsh messaged her on Snapchat saying “oh my God, that’s so bad”, then turned up at her home in Southgate Road.
The victim rang police to report the theft and the friends chatted for around three hours, before Mr Pemberton returned home, at around 3pm.
Miss Gielinck asked Walsh “what are you doing?” when confronted with the knife, before she fled across the room as she was repeatedly stabbed and her top pulled over her head, so she couldn’t defend herself.
She screamed for her partner and “ragged” Walsh by the hair onto a couch, then got on top of her.
Miss Gielinck described how she had to pull the knife out of her chest, which fell to the floor.
But when Mr Pemberton rushed in, Walsh shouted “Kelsey’s got a knife”, then picked up the blade.
Mr Pemberton said “what the f***?” and pushed Walsh into the kitchen, who stabbed him in the chest and back.
Prosecutors suggested Walsh had locked their front door and stabbed him in the hand as he grabbed its handle, before he managed to escape and call for help, as their next door neighbour rushed in.
Miss Gielinck said she told Walsh “I love you” and even apologised to her friend, but Walsh didn’t say anything.
The victim said: “When she was stabbing me there was just no emotion, there was nothing.”
Miss Gielinck said she was “absolutely certain” Walsh hadn’t confessed to the theft before the attack.
However, she recalled Walsh had stayed at their home two weeks previously, when she said: “Do you know what’s mad? I could kill you all right now.”
Miss Gielinck said: “We just laughed it off, because that was the kind of jokey person she was.”
Walsh told the jury she didn’t remember making this comment.
She explained she had been out of work for three weeks, but lived with her mum and didn’t have financial problems.
Walsh described self-harming in 2015 after an uncle discovered she was stealing his cash, adding: “If it was there I would have an impulse to take it.”
She said she underwent counselling and didn’t steal again until she took Miss Gielinck’s card for “no reason”.
Walsh claimed she felt “guilty” when Miss Gielinck posted online about the theft, so went to her house to come clean, but didn’t have “the courage”.
The defendant said she knew she would be caught, so eventually told her friend: “It was me who stole it.”
She claimed Miss Gielinck was “disgusted” and told her she was a “horrible person”.
Walsh said she felt “angry” so grabbed the knife, intending to harm her friend, but “never to kill”.
She described how it felt like a “dream”.
Walsh said: “It was just like I woke up and then realised what it actually looked like, the blood everywhere, that’s when I realised I’ve done something.”
She fled barefoot, spattered in blood, then told a van driver she had been attacked and convinced him to take her to the police, but said “I need to kill myself” and jumped out of his vehicle.
Walsh sobbed in court as she recalled how a woman talked her out of suicide.
When arrested and interviewed, she told officers Miss Gielinck had called her a bad friend for taking her card.
Walsh admitted “going crazy” and saying “you’ve killed my nan”, when “she doesn’t even know my nan”.
Asked whether she had an intention to kill, Walsh replied: “I wouldn’t say to kill her, but to hurt her.”
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Reminded she had stabbed her victim in the chest, she eventually said: “Yeah, it was to kill her.”
An officer said: “But you’re not even sure why?”
“No,” she replied.