An 18-year-old woman from Norwood who was stabbed and “left for dead” by five men has been prosecuted for carrying a knife which she believes was necessary to protect herself. 

In 2021 the teen, who we have decided not to name, was stabbed seven times when she was attacked by five men who were harassing her. 

She was “left for dead” and it was a “miracle she survived”, her barrister said. 

After telling the authorities the identity of one of her attackers, she has had a target on her head. 

She has since been chased by men in a car who shot at her, but she managed to escape without harm, Croydon Magistrates' Court heard today (June 21). 

At 9.30am on May 5, 2023, she was arrested by police in Lambeth as she was seen carrying a lock knife and cannabis. 

She was charged with carrying a knife and possession of cannabis, and pleaded guilty to both charges. 

Today she turned up at Croydon Magistrates’ Court wearing a stab vest. 

Her barrister told the court: “She believes her image was circulated around groups in the community, so she doesn’t know who her perpetrators are.” 

She is suffering from PTSD, is in fear of her life and rarely leaves the house, the court heard. 

A pre-sentence report commended her for her bravery, aknowledging that she was the victim of horrendous violence. 

Sentencing her, a magistrate said: “Knife crimes are something that is very very serious. 

“We take this very very seriously, you should never ever been carrying a knife in public.” 

However, he said: “We have heard your representative and we agree that sending you to prison would not help you in any way.” 

He sentenced the woman to six months in custody, suspended for 12 months. 

This means she will not be sent to prison unless she commits another crime in the next year. 

The magistrates added: “This is a difficult time we’re going through in the country with knife crime, but carrying a knife is not the answer. 

“It is frankly not going to protect you in any way. In fact it will put you in more danger.”