Page last updated at 18:29 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 19:29 UK

'Accidental' stabbing man guilty

A man who claimed his girlfriend fatally stabbed herself in the back with a kitchen knife has been jailed for life.

Andrew Grundy, 36, from Paignton, told police Hazel Grundy, 33, had held the 7in (18cm) knife to her back, before stumbling over backwards.

But a jury at Exeter Crown Court took less than two hours to convict him of murder.

The judge told him he would serve a minimum of 13 years in prison.

Clearly this shows the need for a greater understanding regarding domestic abuse
Det Supt Steve Carey

Miss Galloway's body was not discovered at the couple's rented home in Polsham Park, Paignton until two days after her death.

The court heard that Miss Galloway and Grundy had argued on the night of the killing in January and she had been trying to leave the house when he stabbed her.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels, QC, told the jury that Grundy's explanation that she killed herself was "obvious nonsense" and a "contrived lie".

The kitchen knife pierced her lung and heart and she would have died within sixty seconds.

Mr Dunkels said:"She could not have survived that injury to her heart."

Judge Graham Cottle said Grundy, an ophthalmic technician, was full of self pity and had shown "not a shred of remorse".

After the verdict Det Supt Steve Carey, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "The court heard some of the history of the domestic abuse inflicted by Grundy, including on this occasion when he stabbed the victim in the back while she was trying to escape his violence.

"Clearly this shows the need for a greater understanding regarding domestic abuse, as all too often violent relationships end tragically in death or serious injury and this case shows the need for reporting of such incidents."



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