Woman jailed for killing partner

A FRINTON woman has been jailed indefinitely for stabbing her partner to death just hours after he asked her to marry him.

Roddy Ashworth

A FRINTON woman has been jailed indefinitely for stabbing her partner to death just hours after he asked her to marry him.

Anne Starmore, 60, used a kitchen knife to stab her partner, Michael Bernhardt, in the thigh during a drink-fuelled argument.

Bernhardt, 61, then bled to death on the stairs outside their Queens' Road flat because he was so drunk he could not do anything to save himself.


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Starmore was found guilty of manslaughter after she admitted the killing, which happened on March 20 last year.

She had said that he had attacked her first, but a statement issued after the trial by Bernhardt's family claimed that she had been the violent partner in the relationship.

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“Our father has been portrayed by Anne Starmore as a violent man, but this is so far from the truth,” they said.

“He was a loving caring gentle kind-hearted man who would do his utmost to help others.

“His life with her has been a living nightmare.

“She had a hold over him and he found it hard to leave her for whatever reason.

“Since his death we have discovered the extent to which she beat him.

“Our father was a proud man and would never have admitted to his children that he was a victim of domestic violence, and we are deeply saddened that these atrocious events had been going on without our knowledge for over a year.”

Judge Christopher Ball QC sentenced Starmore for four years in custody, but warned her that because she posed a threat to the public she would only be released when she was considered no longer to be a risk.

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