Our thanks to Jeff for this. Excerpts:
A mother-of-two stabbed her partner to death through the heart with a kitchen knife during a ‘sudden outburst of unreasoned anger’, a court heard.
Michelle Spencer, 48, had abused her partner, David Butterfield, 43, for years when she turned on him earlier this year and killed him.
Just minutes before her trial was due to start at Leeds Crown Court today, Spencer chose to plead guilty to murder and was jailed for 13 years.
Police have revealed Mr Butterfield, described as a ‘hard working Yorkshireman’, had suffered domestic abuse in silence for years as he chose not to report his ordeal.
It also emerged Spencer had a history of violence and also abused her previous partners… [J4MB emphasis]
Jailing Spencer, Mr Justice Soole said: ‘This was an utterly unprovoked assault with a knife on your innocent partner…
‘The sentence which I imposed is one of imprisonment for life.
‘With credit for your plea of guilty, I sentence you to a minimum term of 13 years.’… [J4MB: The woman should have received no credit, nor a reduction in her prison sentence, for her plea of guilty. She would undoubtedly have been found guilty anyway (see below).]
Detective Inspector Ben McDonald said the police investigation uncovered a history of unreported violence which Spencer had inflicted on Butterfield and her previous partners. [J4MB emphasis]
He said Spender first tried to claim her partner had been attacked on his way back from the shops and then told detectives it had just been an accident.
But the truth was pieced together by officers and forensic experts.
Spencer was due to go on trial at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday, but admitted murder. She was sentenced at the same court on Thursday by Mr Justice Soole.
Mr McDonald said: “As a result of diligent and meticulous inquiries by the police investigation team, a violent woman has been brought to justice. Having originally lied to the police regarding the circumstances, the team have been able to uncover the facts, which has resulted in a guilty plea.
“Mr Butterfield had suffered domestic abuse at the hands of his partner and ultimately paid the price for the fact that these incidents were never reported to the police. No one, women or men, should suffer domestic violence and I would encourage victims of such incidents to contact the police or Victim Support as soon as possible.”
Police described Mr Butterfield as “a hard working Yorkshireman” who leaves two children, aged 16 and 19.
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