Prison accident delays manslaughter case

A WOMAN who was due to be sentenced for killing her partner could not appear in court after having an accident in prison.

Annie Davidson

A WOMAN who was due to be sentenced for killing her partner could not appear in court after having an accident in prison.

Anne Starmore should have been at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday to learn her sentence for killing Michael Bernhardt by stabbing him in the leg.

But the court was told that the 59-year-old had got a job inside the prison in the course of which she had fallen down a flight of stairs.

Nigel Lithman QC, defending, said his client had broken bones in her foot, was bruised and had concussion.

He added she had already had operations on her hip and had one leg shorter than the other.

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Judge Christopher Ball QC heard that Starmore, of Queen's Road, Frinton-on-Sea, had been “keen” to come to court but the prison had certified her as unfit.

Starmore had admitted manslaughter in October after her partner Mr Bernhardt died in March this year of a stab wound to the leg.

A new date for sentencing is yet to be set.