Woman who stabbed her partner through the heart in Whitby is jailed for life (From The Northern Echo)
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Woman who stabbed her partner through the heart in Whitby is jailed for life
4:59pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
A WOMAN has been jailed for life after she was convicted by a jury of murdering her partner at the flat they shared.
Rebecca Dormer stabbed Gareth Matthews once in the chest with a kitchen knife during a heated row at their home in Whitny. The blade went through his heart and into his liver.
Dormer, 23, had admitted his manslaughter but a jury at Leeds Crown Court today (Thursday, August 22) unanimously found her guilty of murdering the 32-year-old in February.
Jailing her for life the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC told her she must serve a minimum of 16 years minus the 180 days she has spent in custody on remand.
He said: "You have no recollection of what happened and he is now dead.
“You picked up a kitchen knife with a seven-and-a-half inch blade and stabbed him in the chest. It transected the cartilage of a rib before cutting through the apex of the heart and ending in the liver.”
Mr Matthews died from massive blood loss at the flat in Spring Hill Court, Whitby, where Dormer was found by police trying to help him by pressing socks to the wound.
It was agreed that Dormer suffered from a personality disorder, but the jury rejected that amounted to diminished responsibility.
There was a history of violence between the couple by both parties but the judge accepted the stabbing was not pre-planned.
The judge said CCTV of Dormer's admission to the police station also showed how drunk she had been that night.
Paul Greaney QC, defending Dormer, told the judge after the verdict that she had not intended to cause serious harm and “this was likely to have been a sudden explosion of violence”.
She had immediately sought to help Mr Matthews and summoned help for him.
He added: “She is deeply remorseful for what she has done.”
After the case the victim's father, John Matthews, said “Not only have we have lost a son, brother and an uncle, we have also lost a best friend who loved each member of his family.
“We hope Gareth can now rest in peace and we are allowed to get on with our lives and continue to grieve our loss in private.”
He thanked North Yorkshire Police, in particular the two officers who tried to revive his son along with the paramedics, the Family Liaison Officers and Victim Support.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Ruff said: “The family of Gavin Matthews are struggling to come to terms with the circumstances but it is my hope that the outcome of these proceedings will provide them with some comfort and enable them to start rebuilding their lives.
“I also want to pass on my thanks to the people of Whitby for their outstanding support and assistance to the investigation team throughout this case. The community spirit and genuine care displayed by residents is a credit to the town."