(Image: Gabriela Cordeiro/ Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

A devoted mother of two, Gabriela Cordeiro, a university graduate, and devout Christian, endured a traumatic incident during Sunday service at St Thomas of Canterbury Roman Catholic Church in Bolton, Greater Manchester. The assailant was identified as Flavia Fernandes, the mistress of Gabriela’s unfaithful husband. The violent confrontation unfolded in the church’s car park, where Fernandes, 41, approached Gabriela, 39, and declared, ”I am here just to hit you.”

The attack escalated as Fernandes pushed Gabriela to the ground, mounted her, and repeatedly punched her. The assault took a horrifying turn when Fernandes bit into Gabriela’s chin, holding the bite for an agonizing two minutes, resulting in a deep 2cm wound on the base of Gabriela’s chin. A member of the congregation eventually intervened, separating the two women, told The Bolton News.

Despite the complex history between Gabriela and Fernandes, who had been friends despite the affair, Gabriela never expected such violence. The court heard that the assault was preceded by flirtatious text exchanges between Fernandes and Gabriela’s husband, Pedro. Gabriela scarred physically and emotionally, was treated at the Royal Bolton Hospital, and is now left with a lasting reminder of the attack.

During the court proceedings at Bolton Crown Court, Fernandes, a mother of three, wept as she was sentenced to 25 months in jail after admitting to the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. In her statement to the police, Gabriela expressed her deep sadness and feelings of abuse. The attack, witnessed by her children and nephews, left her fearful of potential scarring and a loss of self-confidence.

In court, prosecutor Katie Walden detailed the disturbing bite, noting that Gabriela tried to defend herself by attempting to bite Fernandes’s nose. The medical report described Gabriela‘s injury as a deep gaping wound. In her defense, Fernandes’s counsel, Martin Pizzey, characterized the attack as impulsive and emphasized Fernandes’s lack of self-control during the incident.

Judge Jon Close, while acknowledging Fernandes’s genuine remorse, imposed a 25-month jail term and a five-year restraining order, preventing Fernandes from approaching Gabriela. He emphasized the lasting impact of the attack on Gabriela’s face, an ordeal witnessed by her own children.

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