Murder accused 'cannot remember stabbing husband'

A woman accused of murdering her husband wept in court as she told the jury she could not remember stabbing him to death.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 4:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 4:24 pm
Murder accused 'cannot remember stabbing husband'

Helena Atay, 42, denied having a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality when she had been drinking, and said her husband Atakan Atay, a Turkish-born businessman, had previously tried to strangle her at their home in Birtley, Gateshead.

Newcastle Crown Court has heard she plunged a 12cm knife into the 45-year-old's chest during a confrontation at their house last October.

The couple had lost their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Sophie to the childhood cancer neuroblastoma in 2010.

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Murder accused 'cannot remember stabbing husband'

Atay has told the court she had been drinking wine at home on the night her husband died, and that she planned to go out to buy another bottle with £10 in her bra.

She told the jury her husband attacked her before she could leave the house.

Under cross-examination by John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, Atay nodded when it was suggested to her that stabbing someone in the chest all the way to the hilt of the blade will kill them.

Speaking about her husband's injuries, Mr Elvidge said: "These were not accidental blows, were they?"

Atay replied: "I don't remember."

Mr Elvidge said: "Are you suggesting they were accidental?"

She replied: "I just don't remember."

Mr Elvidge asked: "Is it the case that your failure to recall is because you know you had no lawful reason for stabbing your husband?"

She replied: "No."

Earlier in the cross-examination, Mr Elvidge asked her about claims she made that her husband had previously tried to strangle her with both hands around her neck.

He said: "Mr Atay was a strong man, if he strangled you with two hands, you would be dead."

She replied: "That's not true."

He also asked her about her drinking, which had been a cause for concern in their marriage.

Atay had been caught drink-driving and arrested for biting a nightclub doorman, and she agreed with Mr Elvidge that when she had been drinking she could be a danger to herself.

She said her drinking got worse after the death of her daughter and she had sought help for it.

The trial continues.