© Philip IdeThe Old Bailey heard how a nursery worker plunged a large knife into her 11-year-old daughter and stabbed her repeatedly as the little girl cried 'I love you'
A nursery worker plunged a large knife into her 11-year-old daughter and stabbed her repeatedly as the little girl cried 'I love you,' the Old Bailey has heard.

Mid-way through the attack she paused to hug the child who was begging her mother to stop.

But she then resumed the vicious onslaught, stabbing her daughter ten times at the side of a canal.

After the youngster collapsed in St Margaret's Field, Ealing, west London, the 48-year-old woman turned the knife on herself, causing blade wounds to her stomach.

Both survived the ordeal but the girl - who received multiple cut wounds to her hands and arms - has been left with long-lasting injuries and scarring.

She was saved by a ten-hour operation to repair wounds to her abdominal organs.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in August last year, and was detained under the Mental Health Act without limit of time.

The court heard she had been a loving mother until a few months before the attack, when she became gripped by severe depression.

Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, said the couple were spotted after the girl picked up the knife and tried to stagger away with her mother attempting to catch her.

Miss Cheema said the mother had bought the sharp knife two weeks before and produced it after the couple set off for the shops.

She had intended to kill herself and decided her daughter 'would be better off dead' than being left without her.

Miss Cheema said: 'The child kept telling her mother she loved her, even though she was being assaulted.

'At one point, she tried to get the knife but it fell to the ground.

'The mother asked her daughter for a hug but began to stab her again.'

The nursery worker had a 'perfectly normal' life until the beginning of the year but by Easter was referred to her local community mental health team.

She was prescribed medication but had not been taking it for two weeks before the attack.

The day before, she had been told that her care would be transferred back to her GP.

Miss Cheema said: 'She appeared anxious about this. She expressed suicidal ideas and told her husband she was having bad thoughts.'

There had been a strong bond between mother and daughter and social workers were helping her come to terms with what had happened.

'She loves her mother and wants to see her but is not sure if it is the right thing,' added Miss Cheema.

David Hislop, QC, defending, said: 'She was an exceptionally good mother and wife. She was the very foundation and heart of her family. She did nothing to bring on this mental disorder which has wrecked her life.'

Judge Stephen Kramer said: 'This is a tragic case for everyone involved.'