Angela Smeaton Hartlepool murder: Paul Smart guilty

Paul Smart Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Paul Smart had a history of violence, the court was told

A man has been jailed after being convicted of the murder of his partner at their Hartlepool home.

Paul Smart, 49, had admitted manslaughter, claiming he lost control after being provoked, but denied murdering Angela Smeaton.

Ms Smeaton, 50, was found with wounds to her head and neck at the property in Eddleston Walk, in April.

Smart was found guilty by a jury at Teesside Crown Court and told he will serve a minimum jail term of 15 years.

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Media captionPaul Smart was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 15 years

The court was told the pair, who had a son and had been together for 30 years, began arguing after returning from Ms Smeaton's brother's funeral.

'Frenzied attack'

Smart claimed he stabbed her in self defence after she attacked him, but this was dismissed by the jury.

Following what the judge described as a "frenzied attack", he dialled emergency services, where he was heard to say "I'm sorry love, but you just pushed me too far".

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Det Ch Insp Anne-Marie Salway, of Cleveland Police said: "This is a tragic set of circumstances and Angela's death has had a profound effect on all the family.

"Whilst there has been justice for the family, a son has now been left without his mother and his father is serving a lengthy prison sentence."

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