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Student who killed boyfriend jailed?

punji Avatar
6y, 9m agoPosted 6 years, 9 months ago
A sixth-former who fatally stabbed her boyfriend in the heart hours after collecting her A-level results has been jailed for five years for his manslaughter. Skip related content

Katherine McGrath, 19, plunged a steak knife into the heart of Alyn Thomas, 22, during an argument after a night out drinking with friends.

McGrath, of Brackla, Bridgend, South Wales, was cleared of murder following a trial earlier this month but found guilty of manslaughter.

Sentencing her at Cardiff Crown Court to five years in a young offenders' institution, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said: "Only you know what actually happened in the kitchen of your home but of this I am sure: the jury did not hear the whole truth."

The judge added: "Clearly you and Alyn Thomas rowed. Whatever the trigger or the cause of that row, my view is that he was not the only one to act aggressively. I accept that you did not intend to kill or cause him really serious injury and I am prepared to accept that you were provoked in the non-legal sense."

He told McGrath that arming herself with a knife was an overreaction and said: "You took the life of a young man. You deprived his parents, his family and his friends of their part in his life and of the chance to share in his future."

Mr Thomas, of Cymmer, near Neath, died in hospital after being stabbed in the kitchen of McGrath's detached family home in the early hours of August 21 last year.

During the trial the jury heard McGrath's 999 call in which she told the operator: "He's my boyfriend and he, like, came and attacked me and I didn't know what to do." She also told the operator he pushed her to the floor and spat at her and tried to hit her.

John Charles Rees QC, defending, said McGrath produced the knife to scare off Mr Thomas when he became aggressive and she had not meant to hurt him. At the sentencing he said it was "self-defence gone too far".

During the trial, Roger Thomas QC, prosecuting, said essential parts of McGrath's explanation of self-defence were "misleading" and added: "There is no justification for taking hold of what was a weapon, a steak knife, and using it to kill Alyn Thomas."


So 5 years in a young offenders institute for stabbing someone in the heart? Whats your thoughts?
punji Avatar
6y, 9m agoPosted 6 years, 9 months ago
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(26) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
I could share my thoughts but I'd be banned.....
#2
wow is this for real? wheres the article?
#3
What are your thoughts OP?

Best to put them in opening post.
#4
Mo786
wow is this for real? wheres the article?


It was on the homepage of yahoo.co.uk uk news
suspended#5
Only 5 years? What the hell was the judge smoking?
#6
"McGrath, of Brackla, Bridgend"

says it all really...
#7
boothy
What are your thoughts OP?


Hopefully exactly what your thinking. A disgrace! 5 years for killing someone over an arguement between a couple. And it was right in the heart.
#8
bbc iplayer docu i saw yesterday.

[COLOR="Purple"]On the evening of 5th November 2001, 28-year-old Dr Andrew Bagby was murdered in a parking lot in western Pennsylvania. The prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr Shirley Turner, promptly fled the United States for St. John's, Newfoundland where she announced that she was pregnant with Bagby's child, a boy she named Zachary.

Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne, Bagby's childhood friend, originally began this film as a way for Zachary to learn about his father. But when Turner was allowed to walk free on bail in Canada and given custody of Zachary while awaiting extradition to the US, its focus shifted to the desperate efforts of Zachary's grandparents, David and Kathleen Bagby, to win custody of the boy.

A film that prompted standing ovations at film festivals across North America, it is the recipient of numerous honours and citations, was named one of the top five documentaries of 2008 by the National Board of Review and named in Best Films of 2008 lists by more than three dozen critics.[/COLOR]
#9
#11
If she had just pushed him and he hit his head or something like that i could understand it but the minute you use a knife of gun it should be life
Otherwise how far do you go in 10 years we will be giving detentions after school for knife crime.
#12
Goofeys Girl
If she had just pushed him and he hit his head or something like that i could understand it but the minute you use a knife of gun it should be life
Otherwise how far do you go in 10 years we will be giving detentions after school for knife crime.


I know, just goes to show how good our justice system is. really dont understand these sentencings.
#13


That's just sick. What goes on peoples heads i do not know. Was there a shortage of mature men where she lives or something
#14
Goofeys Girl;7964457
If she had just pushed him and he hit his head or something like that i could understand it but the minute you use a knife of gun it should be life
Otherwise how far do you go in 10 years we will be giving detentions after school for knife crime.


"The judge added: "Clearly you and Alyn Thomas rowed. Whatever the trigger or the cause of that row, my view is that he was not the only one to act aggressively. I accept that you did not intend to kill or cause him really serious injury and I am prepared to accept that you were provoked in the non-legal sense.""

Also the charge was dropped from murder to manslaughter - not sure what the maximum sentence is but obviously the judge thought there was reason enough - we don't know the full story...no-one does except her.
banned 1 Like #15
punji
Hopefully exactly what your thinking. A disgrace! 5 years for killing someone over an arguement between a couple. And it was right in the heart.


Unless you were at the trial how can you comment on the sentence?
For all you know he might have been about to stab her and she took the knife from him and got there first.

I think this comment sums it up

I accept that you did not intend to kill or cause him really serious injury and I am prepared to accept that you were provoked in the non-legal sense."

If she didn't intend to kill him or cause serious injury I think, within the current sentencing climate, 5 years is actually on the high side.
1 Like #16
It couldnt be murder unless they could prove she intended to kill, without intention they can only prosecute for manslaughter unfortunately. Five years is nowhere near enough for what she did - they'd been drinking - and possibly taken other substances - and fell out - what teenager do you know though who would pick up a kitchen knife ?? She was in her own home so her parents were probably nearby or at least neighbours ..... I feel so sorry for both the families though as they have both lost so much through this.
1 Like #17
colinsunderland
Unless you were at the trial how can you comment on the sentence?
For all you know he might have been about to stab her and she took the knife from him and got there first.

I think this comment sums it up

I accept that you did not intend to kill or cause him really serious injury and I am prepared to accept that you were provoked in the non-legal sense."

If she didn't intend to kill him or cause serious injury I think, within the current sentencing climate, 5 years is actually on the high side.


Exactly, I also read somewhere about this case, that he had a history of violent crime and had been physically agressive towards here in this situation, so no -one knows the whole story.
banned#18
colinsunderland
Unless you were at the trial how can you comment on the sentence?


Please stick to knee-jerk reactions and include phrases like 'Broken Britain', 'PC/Health and Safety gone mad' and 'prison with a playstation and massages'.

It's too early and my head hurts too much trying to read things like 'reasonable opinions' and 'rational arguments'.
#19
colinsunderland;7965184
Unless you were at the trial how can you comment on the sentence?
For all you know he might have been about to stab her and she took the knife from him and got there first.
I think this comment sums it up
I accept that you did not intend to kill or cause him really serious injury and I am prepared to accept that you were provoked in the non-legal sense."
If she didn't intend to kill him or cause serious injury I think, within the current sentencing climate, 5 years is actually on the high side.


vraptorchick;7965491
It couldnt be murder unless they could prove she intended to kill, without intention they can only prosecute for manslaughter unfortunately. Five years is nowhere near enough for what she did - they'd been drinking - and possibly taken other substances - and fell out - what teenager do you know though who would pick up a kitchen knife ?? She was in her own home so her parents were probably nearby or at least neighbours ..... I feel so sorry for both the families though as they have both lost so much through this.


tinkerbell28;7966304
Exactly, I also read somewhere about this case, that he had a history of violent crime and had been physically agressive towards here in this situation, so no -one knows the whole story.

rep for these posts.
#20
Plum
rep for these posts.


tinkerbell28
Exactly, I also read somewhere about this case, that he had a history of violent crime and had been physically agressive towards here in this situation, so no -one knows the whole story.


Still doesn't warrant her grabbing a knife and then using it. If it was your family member who had been stabbed and killed would you feel the same?
#21
Lilly_White;7966691
Still doesn't warrant her grabbing a knife and then using it. If it was your family member who had been stabbed and killed would you feel the same?

rep was not because I agree with everything they say, it was the content and style of posts that moved the thread on.
As to the exact point, I took it that the poster was suggesting other things may have happened that we don't know about so don't be so quick to jump to easy conclusions as some had previously in the thread.
#22
Lilly_White
Still doesn't warrant her grabbing a knife and then using it. If it was your family member who had been stabbed and killed would you feel the same?


I never said it did, but don't forget the judge was there, he heard the evidence he knew the background hence his summing up.....

"The judge added: "Clearly you and Alyn Thomas rowed. Whatever the trigger or the cause of that row, my view is that he was not the only one to act aggressively. I accept that you did not intend to kill or cause him really serious injury and I am prepared to accept that you were provoked in the non-legal sense.""


This man had a history and record for VIOLENT crime, if I remember what I read correctly and he was acting aggresively towards his girlfriend before the stabbing, so who knows what happened, but it's all certainly relevant to painting a picture of what happened..
banned#23
Lilly_White
Still doesn't warrant her grabbing a knife and then using it. If it was your family member who had been stabbed and killed would you feel the same?


So, as I said, how do you know he wasn't about to stab her, she grabbed the knife and got there first in self defence?
#24
colinsunderland
So, as I said, how do you know he wasn't about to stab her, she grabbed the knife and got there first in self defence?


This:
John Charles Rees QC, defending, said McGrath produced the knife to scare off Mr Thomas when he became aggressive and she had not meant to hurt him.
#25
Lilly_White
This:
John Charles Rees QC, defending, said McGrath produced the knife to scare off Mr Thomas when he became aggressive and she had not meant to hurt him.


But ignoring the rights or wrongs of it all, as a man is dead, circumstance will always be taken into account when sentencing/charging the judge believes she did not mean to murder him.

The man had convictions for violent crime and had been attacking his girlfriend, I believe the court had evidence of the bite marks found on her.

That's why in a lot of domestic violence murders the charge is downgraded, as a lot of the time fear takes over and they may not be thinking straight, not intending to murder.

This is what judges are paid for, it's their job to establish murder/manslaughter and sentence accordingly, using the surrounding fact to build a picture.

I feel sorry for his family and it must be terrible, but then it could have equally been the other way around and it be her parents grieving as he wasn't a placid type according to his convictions, no-one wins really.
banned#26
Lilly_White
This:
John Charles Rees QC, defending, said McGrath produced the knife to scare off Mr Thomas when he became aggressive and she had not meant to hurt him.


So she grabbed it off the bench or whatever to defend herself, not really sure what the problem with the sentence is TBH.

A guy carries out a revenge attack on a burglar almost killing him, gets a few years in jail and the country is up in arms about how he should never have been sent to jail.
A girl stabs her violent boyfriend in self defence while being attacked by him, and suddenly 5 years isn't enough.

I'm slightly confused by the logic in that.

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