Belfast Telegraph

Your drunken, frenzied knife attack cost two children their dad, killer told

By Ashleigh McDonald

A woman who stabbed her partner to death in an alcohol-fuelled row has been told that her violent actions deprived two children of their father.

A judge told Angeline Sara Jane Mitchell "you will never be able to repair the damage you have caused" as he sentenced her to 10 years for manslaughter.

The 44-year-old, from Lindsay Court in Belfast, stabbed Anthony Robin to death in his Fitzroy Avenue flat in south Belfast in the early hours of May 11, 2009.

She denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Mitchell was tried by a jury for the murder of Mr Robin, a father-of-two.

Last month, Mitchell was found unanimously not guilty by the jury of murder, and yesterday was sentenced on a charge of manslaughter - five years in jail with the other five on licence.

Mr Justice Treacy spoke of Mitchell's "long history of mental health difficulties" and revealed that several experts agreed that at the time of Mr Robin's killing, Mitchell was suffering from "an abnormality of mind - Alcohol Dependence Syndrome." This, the judge said, impaired her mental responsibility at the time.

During yesterday's sentencing at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Treacy said that at the time of his death, Mr Robin and Mitchell "lived together intermittently" and that their relationship was "turbulent, volatile and blighted by the excessive consumption of alcohol".

Prior to the fatal stabbing, Mr Robin and Mitchell became embroiled in a heated exchange on the landing of the flat following an earlier incident involving one of Mr Robin's sons.

The couple returned to Mr Robin's flat accompanied by his then 16-year-old son - who witnessed his father being stabbed to death on the stairs outside the living room. Mr Robin was stabbed five times, with a wound to the left side of his chest proving fatal.

Mr Justice Treacy commented on the fact that the now 24-year-old son gave evidence at the trial where he had to recall the "horror that unfolded before his young eyes as he watched his father being stabbed to death".

The judge added: "These events are likely to have shaped and dominated the years that followed in this young man's life and I can only hope that the conclusion of these proceedings may bring some measure of closure for him and for all this family who have been so deeply affected."

The court heard of the devastating impact Mr Robin's death had on the family circle - particularly his sister and mother.

In a Victim Impact Statement, the deceased's sister Kim Robin described her brother as a loving father whose death has deprived his two sons of their father's guidance and support.

Ms Robin revealed her mother has "suffered enormously" from her son's death, both physically and emotionally, and is now "merely a shadow of her former self in every way".

She said her brother would be remembered by the family for his sense of humour, his caring and generous ways and for his loyalty to family and friends.

Turning to Mitchell, Mr Justice Treacy told her she carried out a "violent attack, during which you stabbed the deceased five times, with one of those wounds proving fatal. You took Mr Robin's life and deprived his children of their father."

The judge also told Mitchell that he accepted that during her time spent in custody, she has been a model prisoner who has turned her life around.

Due to time she has already served, Mitchell was not returned to custody.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph