Woman who stabbed partner in heart with steak knife jailed for life

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A woman has been jailed for life for murdering her partner with a steak knife after a retrial ordered by the Court of Appeal.

Birmingham Crown Court told Emma-Jayne Magson must serve a minimum term of 17 years for killing James Knight, 26.

Magson, now 28, was convicted of murder three weeks ago after killing Mr Knight in a drunken row between the pair in March 2016.

She denied murdering her partner and claimed she acted in self-defence, but was initially convicted of his murder in a trial at Leicester Crown Court towards the end of 2016.

In January 2020 the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial after hearing new psychiatric evidence showing the defence of diminished responsibility would have been available to Magson at her first trial.

But she was convicted for a second time earlier this month.

Magson claimed she never intended to kill or seriously harm her boyfriend, but jurors rejected her account after hearing how she plunged a knife into his heart following a night out before waiting 45 minutes to call 999.

Jailing Magson for life, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker told her: "I regret I am unconvinced you have, as yet, any real remorse for having caused James Knight's death."

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He also told Magson her prison term would run from the date of her first trial.

The judge said that legal reasons meant he could not impose a longer minimum term than the 17-year tariff previously given to the killer, adding: "Had it not been for the statutory limitation on the court's powers, the minimum term would have been in excess of that previously imposed upon you."

Mr Knight had two young children, daughters Ruby and Evie, with a former partner.

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Magson's application for a retrial was supported by campaign group Justice for Women, the same group who helped Sally Challen overturn her murder conviction for killing husband Richard.

She claimed Mr Knight had been abusive throughout their relationship but the prosecution asserted that she was the aggressor.

When she eventually called the emergency services, she failed to mention to the call handler she had stabbed her boyfriend and claimed he was just "too smashed".

She claimed Mr Knight had collapsed and when a call operator warned her the ambulance might be delayed, she calmly replied: "No, that's fine, don't worry about it."

She then appears to become more agitated as she screams: "I don't care just get my boyfriend out" before adding: "I don't care as long as he is alive".

Magson can then be heard sobbing as she bangs on the front door and says "I want my boyfriend" and "James, come on."

Chilling footage from a police body-cam shows Magson crying for her boyfriend soon after she stabbed him to death.

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