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Street stabbing victim could have been "attacked by up to 11 men"

Jodie Wilkinson
Jodie Wilkinson

Police investigating the murder of a woman who was stabbed in a busy street have said there may have been up to 11 men in the group that attacked her.

Detectives arrested three men after Jodie Wilkinson, 27, was attacked in Stanhope Street, Newcastle, at about 3.50pm on Monday.

A 25-year-old man walking with her was also stabbed following an altercation. He has since been discharged from hospital.

The group suspected of stabbing the pair fled to a nearby address in the Queens Court area, Northumbria Police said.

They arrested men aged 22, 25 and 25 in connection with the incident and they remain in custody.

The force said there could have been around "10 or 11 men in the group that were involved in the attack on the two victims", and that they all fled the scene.

No weapon has been found.

A police cordon in Stanhope Street remained in place while inquiries continued.

Chief Superintendent David Felton said it was not thought to be a random attack.

"Although the motive behind the attack is still being investigated, we believe it potentially could have been some kind of dispute and I want to reassure the community that we do not believe there is any risk to the general public," he said.

"The attack happened in Stanhope Street and we know it was fairly busy at the time.

"It was 3:50pm and schools had not long finished and people were walking, driving and cycling in the area.

"There will be lots of people who were there or who were passing through and who might have seen something.

"We really need these people, or anybody who thinks they can help us, to speak to us straight away.

"Any tiny piece of information could be key so please don't hesitate in contacting us.

"The incident itself would have looked like a group of people fighting, like an altercation of some kind, and there would have been shouting and fighting.

"People would have then seen a group flee the scene, we believe, in the direction of Queens Court.

"If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area then please come forward and speak to officers or ring us on 101."

Ms Wilkinson was from Newcastle, and her sister Amy said she was a devoted aunt and sister.

"She would do anything for anyone and we've got no idea why someone would take her life," she said. "All we ask is at this stage anyone with any information, no matter how small, to please come forward and assist the police."