Tyne & Wear

Atakan Atay: Wife denies being 'Jekyll and Hyde drinker'

Helena Karine Atay
Image caption Helena Atay told the court she could not remember stabbing her husband

A woman accused of murdering her husband has denied having a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality when she had been drinking.

Helena Atay, 42, also known as Karine, told Newcastle Crown Court she could not remember stabbing him to death.

She denies murdering 45-year-old Atakan Atay at their home in Birtley, near Gateshead, in October.

But she agreed with prosecutor John Elvidge QC that she could be a danger to herself when she had alcohol.

Mrs Atay had previously been caught drink-driving and arrested for biting a nightclub doorman.

Her drinking got worse after the death of her young daughter from neuroblastoma in 2010 and she had sought help for it, she told the jury.

Mrs Atay said she had wine at home on the night her husband died and had planned to go out to buy another bottle, after putting £10 in her bra.

Her husband attacked her before she could leave the house, the jury heard.

'Not accidental blows'

Mrs Atay stuck a 12cm knife into his chest during the subsequent confrontation.

Under cross-examination, she nodded when Mr Elvidge suggested stabbing someone in the chest all the way to the hilt of the blade would kill them.

When he suggested "these were not accidental blows, were they?" she replied she did not remember.

He asked if she was "suggesting they were accidental" and she again said she did not remember.

She denied Mr Elvidge's contention her "failure to recall" was because she knew she had "no lawful reason" for stabbing her husband.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Mr Atay was stabbed in the chest below a tattoo in memory of his daughter Sophie, who died from cancer

Mrs Atay had previously told the court her Turkish-born businessman husband had tried to strangle her.

Mr Elvidge challenged her claim, saying: "Mr Atay was a strong man, if he strangled you with two hands, you would be dead."

She replied: "That's not true."

The trial continues.

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