Belfast woman accused of stabbing partner Anthony Robin to death claims it was self defence
Prosecution alleges drunken row over the arrest of victim's son spiralled into murder
A woman has gone on trial accused of murdering her partner with a knife during a drunken row at a south Belfast apartment.
The jury at Belfast Crown Court heard that Angeline Sara Jean Mitchell (44), of Lindsay Court, Belfast, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denies murdering her then partner Anthony Robin on May 11, 2009.
Prosecution QC Liam McCollum told the jury of eight women and four men that the couple had returned to Mr Robin's apartment in Fitzroy Avenue off the Ormeau Road with a carry-out of alcohol after spending the afternoon dining and drinking at a nearby hotel.
Trial judge Mr Justice Treacy heard that the couple had been in a relationship for three years which was described as "turbulent and volatile" and both consumed a large amount of alcohol during the course of their relationship.
Mr McCollum said the 44-year-old deceased had been called away to the home of his former partner Rosena Oliver at nearby Farnham Street around 12.15am on May 11, after their son Anthony Robin jnr was arrested by police over a street disturbance following a heated row with his mother.
After his son was taken away in handcuffs by police, Mr Robin returned to his apartment with his other son, Thomas.
"At this stage, the defendant and the deceased started arguing over the arrest of his son," said prosecution counsel.
"This argument was heated. After some time the defendant left the room followed by the deceased and heated exchanges continued between the two.
"They made their way along the landing area and at some stage the defendant went into the kitchen and retrieved a knife.
"The defendant then stabbed the deceased.
"There were five knife wounds to his body, one of which caused his death, which was a knife wound to the right side of his chest of 20 centimetres in depth."
Mr McCollum told the jury that Mr Robin had also suffered two knife wounds to either side of his scalp, one to an area around the back of an ear and a further wound to his back.
"The knife that was used was taken from the defendant by other people in the flat.
"The pathologist who carried out the post mortem examination states that the fatal wound could have been inflicted by 'medium force'."
The court heard that an ambulance was called around 3.30am and paramedics noted on arrival that he "had stopped breathing and his pulse had gone".
The jury was told that as Mr Robin was being put into the ambulance, Mitchell is alleged to have said: "He's putting that on."
The prosecutor added: "CPR was administered on the way to the hospital, but life was pronounced extinct at 4.10am.
"The defendant had earlier been arrested by police at the scene for attempted murder and following his death she was arrested for murder."
During police interviews, Mitchell claimed that Mr Robin "had been arguing with a Swedish girl who had just left the flat".
She alleged: "I did nothing... oh my God I tried to help him and I am going to get the blame. Oh my God, what you will find about this place."
The court heard that during another interview Mitchell claimed that the row had moved between the living room, the hall and the kitchen and that Mr Robin had started to verbally abuse her before knocking her down and squeezing her throat.
Later on, she told police that he attacked her with a canoe paddle in the kitchen and she grabbed a knife because she was "scared" and "lashed out" in an attempt to defend herself and to "get him away".
Mr McCollum told the jury: "She accepts that she stabbed him, but only because she was attacked.
"However, we say that she intended to cause him real serious injury and consequently we say she is guilty of murder."