Half Mag / Half Zine

Emma-Jayne Magson has been convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of murdering her partner with a steak knife, after a retrial ordered by the Court of Appeal.

Magson, 28, from Leicester, killed 26-year-old James Knight with a single stab wound to the heart in March 2016 after a drunken row between the pair.

She denied murdering Mr Knight at her first trial, claiming it was self defence, but was convicted later that year and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 17 years, PA reports.

But the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial in a judgment handed down in January last year.

She stood trial at Birmingham Crown Court, where a jury again found her guilty of Mr Knight’s murder, returning a majority verdict on Friday.

Magson was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at Leicester Crown Court in November 2016.

But her lawyers told three senior judges that fresh psychiatric evidence suggests that Magson may have been suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the killing.

Clare Wade QC said Magson suffered from emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), which she said “lay in the appellant having endured a childhood which was characterised by exposure to domestic violence”, as well as “parental neglect” and being bullied at school.

Ms Smith said the case of Sally Challen – whose murder conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal earlier this year – had brought issues around domestic violence “to the surface”

She said Magson had stabbed Mr Knight – with whom she had a “volatile” relationship – after he had been kicking at her front door “in circumstances where the deceased had been violent to her earlier in the evening”.

She submitted that Magson’s condition “substantially impaired her ability to exercise self-control and that the EUPD provides an explanation for her conduct and was a significant contributory factor causing the applicant to stab the deceased”.

That evidence, Ms Wade argued, meant it is “more likely than not that, at the time of the offence, the appellant was suffering from diminished responsibility”.

She added that the experts also now agreed that “the defence of diminished responsibility … would have been available to her”.