A woman accused of stabbing her husband in a domestic incident, was to be released from custody today (Tuesday, March 19) after a judge recorded a formal not guilty verdict in the case.

Kirsty Dempsey denied a single charge of unlawfully and maliciously wounding husband, Michael, with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, at the couple’s home in Newton Aycliffe, on Friday, September 22, last year.

She was accused of stabbing him in the shoulder which left a two-inch wound that required medical treatment, including stitches.

The defendant was remanded in custody to Low Newton Women’s Prison, near Durham, from where she appeared at Durham Crown Court by video link at a plea hearing on October 23, when she put in her not guilty plea to the charge.

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A trial date was fixed for February 28, this year, but it was subsequently moved back to March 20, just inside the six-month custody time limit for the defendant’s detention.

Following an application before the court at a “mention” hearing last week, and a subsequent ruling by Judge Jo Kidd, the case came back before the court today (March 19), ahead of the scheduled trial date.

The Northern Echo:

Judge Kidd said she had received correspondence on Monday (March 18) indicating the Crown was proposing to offer “no evidence” in the case.

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Dr Chris Wood, prosecuting, said: “Following your honour’s ruling, and advice being given to the Crown, taking on board everything that has previously been advised, the Crown has given instruction, late yesterday, that they were to offer ‘no evidence’.”

Judge Kidd said based on the prosecution decision, she would, therefore, record a not guilty verdict on the single count before the court.

She asked if arrangements could now be made for the release from custody of the 49-year-old defendant, of Bede Court, Newton Aycliffe.