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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 15:59 GMT
Jealous woman jailed for murder
Danielle Bradley
Danielle Bradley stabbed James Swallow in the heart
A Plymouth woman has been found guilty of murdering her Royal Marine ex-boyfriend in a "jealous rage".

Danielle Bradley, 26, of Crashaw Close, Plymouth, Devon, had denied murder, but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

She stabbed James Swallow in the heart after he called her by the name of his girlfriend as they lay on her bed.

Speaking at Exeter Crown Court, the judge said the killing of Marine Swallow, 23, of Leeds was "a waste".

On Friday, Mr Justice Hughes told Bradley at Exeter Crown Court that she would serve a minimum term of nine years, less one year, three months and 11 days she had spent in custody.

There is no reason to think you meant to kill him
Mr Justice Hughes

The judge said: "This was I am afraid a waste of a life of a man for whom no one had a hard word to say."

The judge told a sobbing Bradley, who has a seven-year-old daughter: "This was murder in high emotion, sudden anger, frustration, spite or jealously."

The judge said the murder, on 30 November 2004, happened after an argument when she had been drinking, but told Bradley her offence was less serious than many.

"There is no reason to think you meant to kill him, much more likely, on the instant, meant to cause him serious harm," he said.

'Extreme spite'

The judge said Bradley accepted she had caused Marine Swallow's death and with it went criminal responsibility.

James Swallow
James Swallow: 'lived life to the full"

Prosecutor Sarah Munro QC had told the jury that Bradley deliberately sank the knife up to 18cm into the chest and heart of Marine Swallow in a moment of "extreme spite, bitterness, a jealous rage".

Bradley told the court that the knifing happened when she picked up the knife to self harm after asking Marine Swallow to leave and lashed out when she grabbed his arm.

During the trial the jury heard Bradley and Marine Swallow, based at Bickleigh Barracks near Plymouth with 43 Commando Royal Marines, had been a couple from July 2003 to August 2004.

They split up when he told her he wanted to move back to the Leeds area.

On the night of his death, Marine Swallow met Bradley by chance when they were out in Plymouth, and they took a taxi back to her rented home in the early hours.

'World shattered'

A neighbour heard raised voices, crying, screaming, a thud and banging. At 0306 GMT Marine Swallow called for a taxi.

Miss Munro told the jury: "As he ended that call, his attention taken away from the defendant, she was able to arm herself with the knife and stab him without warning. This was no accident."

Bradley ran towards a neighbour who came on the scene and told her: "I didn't mean it, what have I done."

Marine Swallow died in hospital shortly afterwards.

Marine Swallow's parents, Steve and Heather, said later in a statement released through Devon and Cornwall Police: "The day James was cruelly taken from us was the day our world was shattered."

They said their son "lived life to the full" with his career in the Royal Marines and his love of the outdoors.


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