Three girls held over stabbing of 15-year-old in school lunch queue

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The Independent Online

According to her father, Humperdinck Jackman, she was confronted as she stood in a queue for school dinners and stabbed five times in the eye, head, back and chest.

Inspector Mark Adams, of Surrey Police, said: "The injuries amount to what effectively is grievous bodily harm. She has received a number of puncture wounds consistent with a sharp object being used to various parts of her body."

Mr Jackman said the attack on Thursday was the third time his daughter had been attacked by bullies, adding: "Natashia was hit in the head two years ago in the school grounds. Last year she was attacked in Camberley town centre by a girl from the school." He said the latter incident had been reported to the school and "significant action" was taken against the girl involved. Natashia was also the victim of an unconnected hit-and-run on Christmas Day two years ago, police confirmed. The suspect, a 21-year-old man, was due to stand trial at Guildford Crown Court but did not turn up. A warrant for his arrest is outstanding.

The latest attack comes at a time of growing focus on discipline problems in schools. New laws are expected in the new year giving teachers the specific legal right to discipline pupils. That follows the decision by Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, to set up an inquiry into discipline - headed by Sir Alan Steer, headteacher of Seven Kings High School in Ilford, east London - into a growing tide of low-level disruption.

Jerry Oddie, principal of Collingwood College, said: "It is a shocking and appalling incident and it has shocked the whole college community. We had no prior knowledge of any problem between Natashia and the group of girls alleged to have been involved in this assault." But he added: "Natashia has had relationship problems in the time she has been there with us. We have worked closely with her parents and have had good co-operation from the family in addressing some of those issues." The school had a "very clear, well established" anti-bullying policy.

A girl of 14 was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The other two, aged 14 and 15, were arrested for conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent. The three were being questioned yesterday.