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James Richardson admits Natalie Czekaj manslaughter

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A man who virtually decapitated his girlfriend with a kitchen knife has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

James Richardson, 35, avoided a murder trial when prosecutors at the Old Bailey accepted a plea of diminished responsibility after a medical report said he was an alcoholic.

The plumber, of Berridge Green, Edgware, north London, killed Natalie Czekaj in January 2015.

At the time, his blood alcohol level was four times the drink-drive limit.

'Functioning alcoholics'

Richardson and Miss Czekay, 34, were both believed to be functioning alcoholics who were celebrating the New Year at home when the defendant attacked the barmaid with a kitchen knife, the court heard.

In accepting the plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility, the prosecution had to be satisfied he had a recognised medical condition that substantially impaired his responsibility.

Judge John Bevan QC said: "It seems to me this is not a case for a Medical Health Act order.

"It is a case for a determinate sentence and the only question is how long."

Richardson was remanded into custody and will be sentenced on 2 October.

Related Topics

  • Edgware
  • Alcohol

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