Woman killed boyfriend by plunging 9cm knife into heart in violent row

A 29-year-old woman who killed her partner by knifing him in the heart in a heated row has been jailed for less than five years.

Tonia Crabtree plunged the entire length of the 9cm blade into her partner's, Craig Morse, heart after he tried to stop her from cutting herself, prosecutor Adrian Langdale QC said.

The struggle within the "toxic" relationship took place at their Derbyshire Home on April 3, 2020, at around 2am, in Langley Mill.

Mr Morse, 33, suffered a single fatal stab wound to the chest in the early hours. When officers arrived, they found him fatally injured and he was pronounced dead at the scene, DerbyshireLive reports.

Defence barrister, Clive Stockwell QC, told Derby Crown Court that Mr Morse had a history of violence and that Crabtree had been in a number of abusive relationships in the past.

"She's a functioning alcoholic and when she started her relationship with Craig Morse she knew he had a history of assaults and there are convictions for that. She hoped the relationship would be different but it was not," said Mr Stockwell.

Crabtree previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and not guilty to the more serious charge of murder when she appeared in court.

The murder charge was dropped on the grounds there was insufficient evidence to convince a jury that she intended to kill or cause really serious harm to Mr Morse.

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Sentencing Crabtree to four years and nine months in prison, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: "Mr Morse's death has unsurprisingly had a huge impact on the lives of those who loved him.

"Nothing I can do to you today will diminish the grief they have suffered and will continue to suffer.

"Sadly, even in those dying moments, it is clear you loved him and he loved you but it was a toxic relationship."

Speaking after the case, Detective Chief Inspector, Sally Blaiklock who led the investigation said: “Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the dignity and courage shown by Craig’s loving family during the course of this investigation.

“Our thoughts go to Craig’s parents, his brothers and sisters, and his children, who have been left with a hole in their lives that no sentence can fill.

“This has been a difficult case and the investigation team have worked hard to bring it to a conclusion, as we understand the frustrations a criminal investigation can bring to those who are mourning Craig’s death.

“It is our hope that today has brought some closure for Craig’s loved ones and that they may now be able to come to terms with his loss in peace.”

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