County Durham woman's sentence cut over fatal attack

Image caption,
Leane Steanson admitted encouraging the initial attack on the victim

A County Durham mother who encouraged her boyfriend to attack a man who later died has had her sentence for manslaughter reduced.

Mark Bradshaw, 24, died after receiving stab wounds at a bail hostel on Edwards Street, Stockton on 26 March 2009.

Leane Steanson, 25, from Chester-le-Street, was jailed in November after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Her sentence was reduced from eight years to six by the Court of Appeal, with only three to be spent in prison.

At the appeal, Mrs Justice Rafferty said the crown court judge may have sentenced Steanson on the basis she encouraged the attack throughout.

Lord Justice Pitchford and Judge Clement Goldstone QC, also at the hearing, agreed.

Blood-stained clothes

Kelvin Benson, 25, and a 17-year-old boy admitted murdering Mr Bradshaw at the ClearSprings hostel last year.

Steanson admitted telling her then boyfriend to attack Mr Bradshaw, after accusing him of taking drugs in front of her two-year-old son.

After Steanson told Benson about Mr Bradshaw, he went to his room where he and the 17-year-old attacked him.

They then dragged him into an alleyway behind the hostel and continued the assault.

Image caption,
Kelvin Benson admitted murder

Mr Bradshaw, formerly from Wheatley Hill, County Durham, was found after the attack but later died in hospital.

Steanson assisted in the cleaning of Mr Bradshaw's room, cleaning and hiding the attackers' blood-stained clothes.

After her arrest, she claimed she had been asleep and had nothing to do with the attack.

She then pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis she encouraged the initial attack.

Benson and the 17-year-old both admitted murder and were given life sentences.

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