'Venomous' girlfriend guilty of killing partner with knife through the heart
A "venomous" girlfriend has been convicted of killing her partner with a knife through the heart.
Nicola Lee "terminated" Paul Taylor's life in the kitchen of her home on March 31 then claimed her victim had inflicted the fatal wound himself.
After a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, jurors rejected her claim and found the 44-year-old, of Thames Avenue, Jarrow, guilty of manslaughter.
She was found not guilty of murder.
Following her conviction, Northumbria Police released shocking body cam footage of her swearing, struggling and being aggressive with officers who arrested her after she was told Mr Taylor had passed away.
During the trial, jurors heard evidence from two previous partners of Lee, who said they had been victims of her violence in the past and had both suffered injuries inflicted by her with knives.
One told police he was "frightened" of Lee and added: "The trigger could be anything and that's the truth, it could be something on the telly.
"It could be 14 or 15 hours of verbal abuse."
The man said Lee had warned him "I will kill you" and he added: "From her, I would take it serious.
"Yes, she's a woman, but I'm actually frightened of her."
The man said Lee would "escalate from verbal to physical" and added: "I'm not lying when I say basically every week she threatened to kill me."
He added: "She would just rip me to bits with her mouth.
"Sometimes I did react and shout back. I'm not saying I didn't and yes I did restrain her but you have a right to defend yourself."
‘Viciously aggressive’ Lee ‘grabbed man by testicles’The second man said Lee had grabbed him by the testicles during a violent row and then injured his arm when she picked up a knife.A former neighbour told the court Lee was "manipulative, calculating, venomous, dangerous, viciously aggressive" and added: "She is a compulsive liar and preys on the vulnerable."Prosecutor Caroline Goodwin QC, prosecuting, told the court on the night Mr Taylor, 45, lost his life, Lee was "drunk, aggressive and argumentative" and added: "Her unlawful action led to the termination of his life by a singlestab wound."
Miss Goodwin said the couple's relationship was fraught with turbulence and added: "Neither of them were angels but the crown say the person who was particularly violent was the defendant."
The court heard Lee had previously hit Mr Taylor with a hammer and attacked him with a knife, causing injury.
She said it came to the attention of police at the time but Mr Taylor said he had done it to himself.
Ms Goodwin told the court how in private Mr Taylor revealed to his friend that the person who had attacked him was Nicola.
She said: "The Crown say that the defendant was the aggressor and perpetrator of further domestic violence."
‘The worst decision of Paul Taylor's life’
Ms Goodwin QC told the court how Mr Taylor's friend Shaun Hunter described an "atmosphere" between the couple while drinking at her home on March 30.
She said when Mr Hunter left the address, he received a phone call from Mr Taylor and he walked back to meet him.
Ms Goodwin QC told the court how Mr Taylor had said to Mr Hunter that his head was "battered" as Lee was going "on and on and on".
The court heard how Mr Hunter told him to come back with him and but Mr Taylor said "no" as he was going to go back and "sort it out" with Lee.
Ms Goodwin QC said: "The Crown said that decision was the worst decision of Paul Taylor's life."
Ms Goodwin QC said a shop worker described seeing Mr Taylor "crying" while buying two bottles of Southern Comfort just after 9pm night that.
She said, not long later, Lee walked into the same shop to buy a case of Magners cider.
The shop worker, who described her as being in a "foul mood," heard Lee shouting "they better get out my flat or I'll kill them."
Ms Goodwin QC said: "She was drunk and she was angry."
Profanity-laden 999 call and efforts to save Mr TaylorMs Goodwin QC told the court how Lee's neighbour Margaret Mason heard the couple arguing just after 10pm and Lee shouting: "I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you, I'll ****ing kill you."
She said the neighbour then heard a "scuffle" take place and she heard shouts of: "Paul, Paul."Ms Goodwin QC told the court how Lee called the emergency services and said that Mr Taylor had "stabbed himself in the chest".In the call to the emergency services, which was played to the jury, Lee can be heard saying: "My partner is in the kitchen, he's on the floor, we have ended up having an argument and he's stabbed himself, it's not the first timehe's done it, the last time he smashed himself on the head with a hammer."She goes on to tell the operator: "I'm sick of it, man, he does it on purpose and blames it on me."He's a ****ing lunatic, I'm sick of this ****."She can also be heard saying: "Paul, you little *******, what's he done, man."The court heard how the police arrived to find Lee cradling Mr Taylor, who was slumped in the corner.
Despite attempts by police and then paramedics to save his life, Mr Taylor was pronounced dead at 2.24am and Lee was arrested on suspicion of murder.
A post mortem showed a single stab wound had passed through a ventricle in Mr Taylor's heart.Ms Goodwin QC told jurors how Lee kept asking officers, while in the police car, if Mr Taylor was dead.
The court heard how she told officers: "He's the love of my life. Are you for real? I never hurt him, he did it himself. He smashed himself on the head with a hammer. I knew I'd get the blame sooner or later."
The court heard how, when she was charged by police on April 2, she said: "I did not stab and kill my boyfriend."
Ms Goodwin QC told the court how Lee has a "propensity to be violent" with previous convictions for criminal damage and affray.
The court heard how a friend of the couple had previously heard Lee saying to Mr Taylor: "I could kill you and get away with it because of my bipolar."Lee has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at the same court on Wednesday October 30.