Atakan Atay death: Wife claims husband was violent

Image caption,
Helena Atay told the court her husband regularly hit her

A woman accused of stabbing her husband to death has told a jury he was violent towards her throughout their marriage.

Helena Atay, who is also known as Karine, denies murdering 45-year-old Atakan Atay at their home in Birtley, near Gateshead, in October.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 42-year-old was regularly slapped during their marriage of almost 20 years and had a knife held to her stomach.

She said he also grabbed her round the throat and called her "fat".

Mrs Atay also told jurors her husband said she was "disgusting" and that no-one else would want her.

The Turkish-born businessman was stabbed in the chest just below a tattoo in memory of his daughter Sophie, who died from cancer aged three.

Mrs Atay told the court that she began drinking when she suffered from post-natal depression after the birth of her first child.

Following the death of her second child and the birth of her third, she was drinking more than she ever had before, up to two bottles of wine every night, the jury heard.

She said: "It just helped me get rid of the feelings I had. I was feeling so desperate."

Image source, Northumbria Police
Image caption,
Mr Atay was stabbed in the chest

When questioned about the night of his death, Mrs Atay told the court she had planned to go out to buy more wine but heard creaking from the bedroom where her husband was sleeping.

She told the court: "He ran behind me down the stairs.

"Then he got his leg and he stamped it in the back of my calf.

"I was just saying 'Please let me go, I'm not going to do anything' but he wasn't listening."

She said her husband would regularly lock her in the house.

The court heard she remembered him grabbing her, then loosening his grip but nothing more after that until she was on the phone to the emergency services.

She said she did not recall having a knife in her hand.

The trial continues.

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