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Murder accused 'accepts she stabbed her partner'

By Michael Donnelly

Published 28/04/2016

Sara Jean Mitchell
Sara Jean Mitchell

A 44-year-old woman accused of murdering her partner during a drunken argument seven years ago is not totally blameless, as she herself has accepted, her defence has admitted.

The admission was made by defence QC Richard Greene in his opening statement to a Belfast Crown Court jury of eight women and four men.

His client, Angeline Sara Jean Mitchell from Lindsay Court, Belfast is on trial for the May 11, 2009 murder of her 44-year-old boyfriend Tony Robin who was stabbed in his Fitzroy Avenue home.

Mr Greene said while the defences of "provocation and diminished responsibility" will be raised, they were not inviting the jury "to absolve the defendant of all blame".

"She has already accepted that she unlawfully killed Tony Robin. That is, that she committed a serious criminal offence in the manslaughter of Tony Robin," Mr Greene added.

Later, in giving evidence in her own defence, Mitchell told of how at one time she operated as a prostitute and how Mr Robin humiliated her about it, and of her battle with alcoholism.

While she accepted she had been interviewed by police about the stabbing, Mitchell said that now she did not know whether her memories of that night are "genuine", or made up from matters she had read in the various case papers.

Mitchell said that when questioned by police she was being as helpful as she could, but when she said, 'I can't remember', that was because she could not recall events, and that her memory is still made up of "vague recollections".

She further claimed that she can't remember lashing out at Mr Robin, although this is what she told police.

Mr Greene then asked of Mitchell: "Do you accept that you stuck a knife in Tony Robin's chest?"

"Yes," replied Mitchell.

"Do you accept that happened at the top of the second flight of stairs?"

"Yes," she answered again.

However, Mitchell claimed that she could not remember "getting there" or of the things Mr Robin had been saying to her.

Then when asked: "Do you remember what made you lift the knife?"

"Just panic," she said.

At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

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