A 44-year-old woman has been sentenced to 22 years and four months' imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempted murder following an incident in Harrogate last year.
Just before 5pm on Thursday 23 June 2022, Clare Bailey attended an address on Byland Road, wearing a COVID style facemask, a red wig, holding a bunch of flowers. Hidden behind the flowers was a large carving knife.
When a 43-year-old woman opened the door to Bailey, she launched an unprovoked attack on her, repeatedly stabbing and slashing the victim to her neck, chest, stomach and arms. The victim, who we will refer to as Emma, attempted to defend herself.
Emma required extensive surgery and a hospital stay lasting more than a month, during which time she was not able to see her children.
The victim’s teenage daughter attempted to intervene and stop the attack on her mum but feared Bailey would turn to attack her, although no physical contact was made, the ordeal has understandably stayed with her.
Emma did not know Bailey. It later transpired Bailey had previously had a relationship with Emma’s husband but this had ended several months before the offence took place, something which Bailey had struggled to accept.
During the investigation it was established Bailey had travelled from her home in the Pedmore area of Dudley to Harrogate on the morning of the offence, after calling in sick at work. Before attending Emma’s home, she stopped at a local Sainsbury’s store to buy the flowers she used in the attack.
Following the assault on Emma, Bailey left the scene by foot before getting in her car and driving back to the West Midlands where she was arrested during the early hours of Friday 25 June.
Senior Investigating Officer Jonathan Sygrove, said: “First of all I must commend the bravery of Emma, she has shown such courage throughout the investigation and I hope today’s sentence will allow her some closure on the events of that afternoon.
“This was a horrific attack on an innocent and blameless lady who is now unable to feel safe in her own home, work, or spend time independently with her children, as a result. Emma had to spend weeks in hospital away from her family receiving treatment for injuries which simply, should never have happened. All she did was open the front door to her home.
“From receiving the initial call from the ambulance service this was an extremely fast-paced investigation which led to the quick arrest and charge of the offender. It soon became clear the level of planning Bailey had put in place and the little regard she had for anyone getting in the way of what she wanted and I welcome the sentence handed to her today.
Emma said: “I am still in pain every day and need painkillers to help with this. I use crutches to get around as I am still unable to use my right leg fully and for longer distances I have a wheelchair.
“I’ve lost all my independence, I couldn’t go back to work, we are having to rely on disability benefits, I have just lost my whole life really, I need help with everything I do.
“I don’t sleep and when I do sleep, I have flashbacks and nightmares of that afternoon.
“I can’t imagine what my daughter went through, to witness what she did, to try and stop the attack, she is my hero, she will always be my little hero, I honestly don’t think I would still be here if she hadn’t been home that day.
“I know people will have their opinion about what I should have done following the attack, but I have done what was best for me. Affairs happen, they aren’t nice, but they happen and no-one would ever imagine something like this would be the outcome, this was not a normal reaction to someone breaking up a relationship.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who came to help on that day, people who didn’t know me, didn’t know whether they were safe or if they would be attacked too, thank you.”
Emma has worked with the Major Investigation Team and the Corporate Communications Department to produce a video outlining her ordeal:
The full length video can be downloaded using the link below. Media outlets are free to use this content but must credit North Yorkshire Police when doing so.