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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 17:28 GMT
Stab death woman's jail term cut
A woman who was jailed for stabbing her neighbour to death in a row over music has had her prison sentence reduced.

Theresa Derekis, 54, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Nicola Gatland on the basis of diminished responsibility and was jailed for six years in July.

On Monday three appeal judges said the sentence was "manifestly excessive" and reduced it to three-and-a-half years.

Derekis, of Littlehampton, stabbed Ms Gatland in the heart in December 2003 after a long-running row about noise.

Carving knife

The judges at London's Criminal Appeal Court noted sentences in other manslaughter cases involving provocation or diminished responsibility arising from a dispute.

They said sentences of no more than four years should be given in such situations.

Derekis, of East Ham Road, had thrown stones at Ms Gatland's home when she heard music after midnight.

It was when Ms Gatland went to confront her about the broken window that Derekis used a carving knife to stab her once in the heart.

The appeal court heard Derekis was depressed and deprived of sleep when the incident happened on 16 December.

Jail for killing over loud music
23 Jul 04  |  Southern Counties
Woman in court over neighbour's murder
23 Dec 03  |  Southern Counties

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