A 44-year old woman was today (Thursday) acquitted by a jury of murdering her partner during a drunken row in his south Belfast flat.
Angeline Sara Jane Mitchell, from Lindsay Court in Belfast, was charged with murdering her partner Anthony Robin on May 11, 2009.
Prior to the trial commencing at Belfast Crown Court, Mitchell pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter after she admitted stabbing Mr Robin, but denied murdering him.
She made the case that whilst she accepted unlawfully killing Mr Robin in his Fitzroy Avenue flat, she never intented to kill him. Mitchell said that during the drunken row, Mr Robin (44) was both verbally and physically abusive to her, and that she grabbed a knife in panic.
Mitchell also made the case that at the time of Mr Robin’s death, she was in the grip of Alcohol Dependancy Syndrome.
Mr Robin sustained several knife wounds to his body and head, including a fatal wound to the right side of his chest which was 20 centimetres deep.
Despite the plea to manslaughter, the Crown proceeded with the murder charge as it was the prosecution’s case that Mitchell intended to cause Mr Robin serious injury.
Following a two-week trial - during which Mitchell took to the stand to give evidence - the jury returned a majority ‘not guilty’ verdict.
Mr Justice Treacy thanked the jury for their diligence.
Mitchell was then released on bail and told to return back to court later this month when she will be sentenced for the manslaughter of Mr Robin.