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Woman who stabbed partner in heart in Langley Mill jailed

image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionTonia Crabtree's lawyer said she is "a damaged individual" who had suffered abuse as a child

A woman who fatally stabbed her partner when he tried to take a knife from her during an argument has been jailed.

Craig Morse was found injured by police called to Frost Avenue, Langley Mill, at about 02:00 BST on 3 April.

Derby Crown Court heard Tonia Crabtree "jabbed out" at him with a knife she was intending to use to harm herself.

The 29-year-old, of Frost Avenue, Langley Mill, was jailed for four years and nine months after admitting manslaughter.

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The court heard how Crabtree and Morse, 33, had been in an "on-off relationship" for about 18 months before his death, one which had been marked by violence.

On 15 February a similar incident had occurred where Crabtree went to get a knife intending to harm herself, and in attempting to intervene her partner suffered a cut to his hand.

During the day before Mr Morse's death the couple - originally from Stoke-on-Trent - were described as "bickering" by relatives who were staying at the flat, with "banging and shouting" heard late at night after most of the household had gone to bed.

Both had been drinking heavily during the day, the court heard, and after "a struggle" between the pair in the kitchen Crabtree stabbed her partner.

The court was told both parties were seen injured by relatives staying in the house, with blood seen "spurting" from a wound in Mr Morse's chest.

Later examinations found he had suffered a 9cm stab wound to the heart, and was pronounced dead at the scene by officers.

image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionCraig Morse was pronounced dead at the scene

Clive Stockwell QC, defending Crabtree, said the stab wound was inflicted "in the heat of the moment", adding his client was "a highly damaged individual" who had been abused as a child and suffered from a range of psychiatric disorders, including alcohol dependency.

Sentencing Crabtree, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said Crabtree had "jabbed out with the knife in order to ward [Mr Morse] off", and though she admitted causing the fatal wound, she instantly showed remorse and tried to help her stricken partner when she realised the severity of his injury.

"Sadly, even in those dying moments, it is plain that you loved him and he loved you, but it was a toxic relationship," she said.

Information and support: If you or someone you know needs support for issues about domestic abuse, these organisations may be able to help.

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Related Topics

  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Domestic abuse
  • Langley Mill
  • Derbyshire Constabulary

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