May 21 2013 Latest news:
Norfolk Constabulary detective constable Graham Finney with a selection of the Westlife merchandise that the group sent for a 15 year old girl who was saved by her concert programme when stabbed in a street robbery. Photo: Steve Adams
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Members of the Irish band Westlife have tried to help put a smile back on the face of a 15-year-old girl who was stabbed during a robbery by sending her a goody bag.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and a woman, aged 20, had been to a Westlife concert at the O2 arena in London on May 12, and arrived back in Norwich at about 2.20am on May 13.
They were followed by Stephen Williams, 33, of Mousehold Street, Norwich, who demanded the girl’s bag and stabbed her five or six times.
The teenager, who was cut on the chest, abdomen and wrist, was spared more serious injury after the knife plunged into a Westlife tour programme she had taken home from the concert.
The Norwich Evening News contacted Sony Music, one of the band’s labels, who, through Bravado International Group, have sent a goody bag packed with programmes, merchandise and other items for the girl.
A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We are grateful to Archant [the publishers of the Norwich Evening News] for taking the time to approach Westlife’s management about this incident.
“The goody bag they have sent to us as a result of this action will, we hope, go some way to helping the victim overcome her terrifying ordeal and bring some form of closure on this part of her life.”
Det Con Graham Finney will now pass on the goody bag to the victim and said he was delighted with the gesture which he thinks will help the victim as she tries to move on. He said: “It’s nice to see people have made an effort to doing something for her. Taking the trouble to do that is brilliant.
“I know how much this will mean to her.”
Last month Williams was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison with an extension of three years to the period he must remain on licence.
Sentencing him, Recorder Alexander Milne, QC, referred to the offence as the “top category of street robbery” and said, in terms of the teenage victim, the “fact that no major organ, artery or tendon were damaged was a matter purely of good luck, nothing more than that”.