Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

'Nagged' man jailed for stab death

Dennis Long stabbed his partner Judith Scott following 30 years of nagging
Dennis Long stabbed his partner Judith Scott following 30 years of nagging

A hen-pecked man who was nagged for 30 years before he stabbed his partner to death has been jailed for four years and eight months.

Dennis Long, 59, was cleared of murder and convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Despite hating violence, he killed 60-year-old grandmother Judith Scott, the partner he had lived with for three decades, after years of abuse which included being beaten with a poker.

On the night in March that he snapped at their home in North Shields, North Tyneside, she had called him weak, "a pansy", "a poof" and told him she should wear the trousers and he should be in a dress.

He stabbed her in the arm and twice in the chest, and she died at the scene. Immediately after the attack, he rang 999 and told the call handler: "I just lost it - she gave me grief so I knifed her."

The killing followed Long telling Ms Scott he had been abused on the way home from the pub by a local bully but that he would not take it further with police.

Sentencing, Judge John Milford told Long: "You are a placid, unassertive, rather weak man."

He said the defendant was "full of genuine remorse" and was a hard-working man of previous good character. The judge said the killing "has to be seen against a background of 30 years' severe conduct by the deceased and some physical abuse as well".

As Long was led away, Judge Milford paid tribute to the dead woman's daughters, Kerry and Paula, who were brought up by Long. They both made victim impact statements in which they said they could not hate their killer stepfather.

Judge Milford said: "In the light of what happened, it can be no easy thing to record things as they actually see them. I hope in the fullness of time there will be healing of the wounds that they have suffered through the loss of their mother."

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