Jailed: Karen Stubbings, who beat up her step-sister so badly that her own family didn’t recognise her

Karen Stubbings
Karen Stubbings

A woman has been jailed for two years for a “shocking” attack on her frail, older step-sister who ended up in hospital with a bleed on the brain.

Karen Stubbings, 53, whom a judge branded a “thug”, beat the victim “black and blue” following an argument at her home in Scarborough.

The 68-year-old victim blacked out and woke up in the garden in the early hours of the morning, York Crown Court heard.

Her face was covered in blood, cuts and bruises, and she was so dazed she didn’t remember anything about the attack, said prosecutor Rob Galley.

She was taken to hospital where a CT scan revealed a haematoma, or bleed on the brain. She was given a transfusion of a coagulant to stem the bleeding and had to have her own-blood thinning medication stopped.

The transfusion stopped the bleeding, but she had to be kept in hospital for six days before finally being discharged.

Stubbings, of Lismore Road, was arrested and charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm. She admitted the offence and appeared for sentence via video link on Friday.

Mr Galley said police and an ambulance crew were called out at about 5.30am after a neighbour heard two women shouting at each other. Shortly after the police call, the victim could be heard shouting for help in the back garden of the property on Lismore Road.

When police and ambulance staff arrived, they found the victim “distressed and bloodied”, with swelling to her face and cuts and bruising to her left eye. She had “multiple” bruises to her face and was left with “Panda eyes”.

The victim had been watching TV and having a drink with her step-sister when “things got out of hand”.

“She said her step-sister had become more and more agitated,” added Mr Galley. “She doesn’t remember what happened (next): she thinks she must have blacked out.”

One witness said the two women had been arguing about “family matters” before Stubbings “smacked” her “a number of times”.

The victim, who was named in court, tried in vain to defend herself but Stubbings continued punching her to the head before the male witness pulled her away. The victim then walked out of the house “dazed”.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said she had felt “constantly dizzy” and nauseous following the attack in June and had to take time off work. She also suffered from headaches, acute pain to her face and eye ‘floaters’ – tiny shadows on the retina.

She was in “complete shock” when she first saw her facial injuries, which were so bad even members of her own family didn’t recognise her. She also struggled to walk because of problems with balance resulting from the attack.

She said it had had a “huge” impact on her quality of life and that she struggled to sleep, often waking up crying.

She now felt “scared and extremely concerned as to when (Stubbings) is released (from prison) because she lives very nearby”, added Mr Galley.

The court heard that Stubbings - a mother-of-two and grandmother-of-four - had a record dating back some 35 years, for offences including “numerous” assaults, wounding, ABH, shoplifting and being drunk and disorderly. As recently as March this year, she was given a community order for battery, to which she was still subject when she attacked her step-sister.

Defence barrister Taryn Turner said alcohol was Stubbings’ main problem and at the root cause of her offending.

“I would have to accept that this is a bad business,” added Mrs Turner. “She is genuinely very sorry.”

Judge Sean Morris slated Stubbings for her “appalling record” and the “shocking” attack.

“She’s older than you; she looks frail and you beat her black and blue in a sustained attack,” added Mr Morris.

“When you are in drink you are nothing less than a thug. The bottom line is, you and the bottle have to be parted as long as possible.”

As well as the two-year jail sentence, Stubbings was given a 10-year restraining order to prevent her “going anywhere near” her step-sister.