Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Margaret Ann McKeown freed after stabbing husband

A wife jailed for stabbing her husband after he joked he was "bonking" another woman has been freed after a judge ruled she was "deliberately provoked".

Margaret Ann McKeown, 54, of Canklow Road, Rotherham, was jailed for 18 months in February after she admitted unlawfully wounding her husband, John.

But Mrs McKeown was released on Monday after a Court of Appeal ruling that a prison term was "manifestly excessive".

Instead she was made the subject of a 12-month community supervision order.

'Really sorry'

Mrs Justice Thirlwall told the court the couple had been married for more than 20 years when Mr McKeown started "taunting" his wife with claims he was having an affair.

Despite realising this was untrue, the jibes rankled with Mrs McKeown who lost her temper on the night of 2 April last year, the court heard.

Mrs McKeown, who had been drinking with her husband, took a kitchen knife and stabbed him in the chest and upper arm, the judge said.

In a phone call to emergency services, she then confessed to the crime, and added: "He told me he was bonking someone else... I'm really sorry."

Mr McKeown suffered only superficial injuries, and did not support his wife's prosecution or imprisonment.

He accepted he had "deliberately provoked" her, the judge said.

Lawyers argued that because Mrs McKeown had no previous convictions, and even nursed her husband's wounds while awaiting the ambulance, she should not have been given a prison sentence by Sheffield Crown Court.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall, sitting with Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Judge Anthony Russell QC, said: "We accept that everything about the appellant's conduct from the moment of the assault indicated remorse; she called the ambulance, administered first aid and admitted the offence.

"This was a very unusual case where the use of a knife did not necessitate an immediate custodial sentence, and she has already served the equivalent of a six-month sentence."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites