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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Woman appeals murder conviction
A woman jailed for life for stabbing her partner to death has asked appeal judges to rule her conviction unsafe because of the abuse she had suffered.

Joanne Cole, 36, of Edmonton, north London, denied murdering Patrick Hemmings, on grounds of self-defence but was convicted in 2001.

The Court of Appeal heard new evidence showed sexual and physical abuse had left her vulnerable to provocation.

But the crown is expected to say there was no evidence of loss of control.

'Lost control'

Cole's barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC told the court: "This appeal is based on new evidence that supports the likelihood that the appellant had long-standing psychological problems due to physical and sexual abuse from men from an early age."

He said these problems "affected her responsibility for her conduct at the time of the killing of Patrick Hemmings",

Mr Fitzgerald said there were three aspects on which the appeal was based, which could have "led the jury to find the appellant's actions more excusable and to aquit on the basis of manslaughter".

The court was told these were Cole's history of abuse, that she suffered greater verbal and physical aggression from her partner than was suggested at the trial and thirdly, her admission that she lost control of her emotions.

The hearing continues.


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