The mother of a six-year-old girl who was stabbed in the chest was released by police without charge.
Officials were called to the family’s end-of-terrace house on a Surrey estate shortly after midnight yesterday after neighbors heard loud voices.
The girl was taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital from the Rowan Close crime scene on the Bellfields Estate in Guildford.
Her injuries were described as severe, but Surrey police later said her condition was comfortable and “fine” in the hospital.
The girl’s 44-year-old mother, who was stabbed in the hand, and her 28-year-old partner were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
She was released last night, but her partner remained in police custody, a police spokeswoman said.
Neighbors described the injured girl as a “little angel” who often played outside on the lawn.
Julie Lester said the mother’s younger boyfriend, who she had been with for a few months, was a regular visitor.
She said the woman was disabled and used a motorized buggy.
She has been estranged from the girl’s father for more than a year, said mother-of-two Ms. Lester, 48.
She added that the girl just celebrated her birthday a few weeks ago.
Ms. Lester, who works for the hardware store chain B&Q, said: “She is pretty, a good girl and very bright. We’d meet in the garden and do things. “
She denied any evidence that the couple had a stormy relationship and was unaware that the police were being called.
“I never saw or heard anything,” said Ms. Lester. “Somebody called me and said there was some activity on your end, get out there and see it all.”
Adam Howlett, 35, a Guildford Borough Council farm worker who lives six doors from the family, said, “They are very calm, normal people.
“I came quite late and heard loud voices from inside the house. I looked out my window but couldn’t see anything.
“Then I saw a lot of cops show up. When I heard that a girl was stabbed, I was shocked, very shocked.
“You don’t expect something like that on your doorstep. It’s a bit rough here, but not rougher than any other place.
“People have lived here for at least a couple of years.
“The girl was a little angel, a little princess. She is a happy girl who would play outside on the grass.”
Two policemen stood guard in front of the two-story property, which was surrounded by police tape, while detectives in white suits investigated inside.
A resident of Bellfields who refused to give his name compared the property to what appeared in the Channel 4 drama Shameless.
She said, “The Shameless families don’t have a patch here for this round. I wasn’t alone in eight years after I was attacked.
“Drinks and drugs are a problem here. Many windows are boarded up and there are many singles with high unemployment.
“I only feel safe with my dog.”
Another resident, Joanne McDermott, 27, mother of two, said, “It’s scary. When something like this happens this close to your own home, it’s worrying.”
A spokeswoman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust said he was called to an address in Guildford after a woman and child were reportedly injured.