Northern Ireland

Belfast woman found guilty of partner's murder

Belfast Crown Court
Image caption The guilty verdict was delivered at the Crown Court in Belfast

A woman accused of stabbing her partner to death during a violent row has been found guilty of his murder.

Angeline Sara Jane Mitchell, 39, showed no emotion as she was convicted of murdering 44-year-old Tony Robin at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday.

Mr Robin was stabbed five times, once in the heart, during a drunken row at his Fitzroy Avenue home in Belfast on 11 May 2009.

Ms Mitchell had claimed she was only defending herself.

The trial heard that Mr Robin's teenage son Thomas had witnessed part of the attack after his father had called to him for help.

Initially Ms Mitchell, a single mum from Lindsay Court, Belfast, told police at the scene that Tony "had been fighting with some Swedish girl who had just left the flat".

She went on to claim: "I did nothing. Oh my God I tried to help him, and I'm going to get the blame. Oh my God what you will find about this place".

The court also heard that when the victim stopped breathing as he was being transferred to a waiting ambulance, Ms Mitchell allegedly said "he's putting that on".

Giving evidence on her own behalf Mitchell claimed that Tony became angry with her, initially verbally abusing her before knocking her down and squeezing her throat.

At another stage she claimed he attacked her with a canoe paddle while she grabbed a kitchen knife because she was "scared" and "lashed out" in an effort to defend herself and to escape.

However, a jury of seven men and five women rejected her claims and accepted the "over whelming" prosecution case that she stabbed Mr Robin to death.

Mr Justice McLaughlin said he would decide at a later date the minimum term of her life sentence she must serve before it is considered safe for her to be released back into the community.

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