Whirlwind romance ended in tragedy

Christine Henderson
Christine Henderson

CHRISTINE Henderson could never have imagined that her whirlwind internet romance with Graham Gibson would end the way it did.

The divorced mum-of-three was living in Newcastle with two of her daughters when she met her killer through an internet dating website called Plenty of Fish.com in September 2010.

The court heard the couple enjoyed a “whirlwind romance” and Gibson regularly travelled from Middlesbrough to visit Christine on Tyneside.

By February last year they had moved in together in Ormesby, near Middlesbrough, and a couple of months later they set up home in Kent Avenue, Hartlepool, where they were joined by her daughter Nicole.

But the relationship started to turn sour as Gibson started to steal her money and even changed her bank card pin number to fund his gambling habit.

She also told friends that he was violent towards her, and said she wanted to leave him.

The last straw was in June this year when she asked her friend Sheila Fawcett to pick her up and asked if she could stay with her in Cherwell Terrace, Brambles Farm, Middlesbrough.

Over the following week, Gibson bombarded her with text messages and phone calls and he followed her in a bid to win her back.

He even asked her to marry him on Facebook.

Eventually, after a day when she had drank around 12 measures of vodka, Christine agreed to go to her friend’s house alone with Gibson to talk.

But that talk quickly turned violent when Gibson grabbed a 12-inch kitchen knife which had been lying on a draining board and mounted his frenzied attack.

Crazed Gibson left his victim dead in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor before calmly leaving the house and later ringing 999 to admit the killing.

The court heard how Christine, who weighed just seven and a half stone, suffered from a series of health problems.

They included the lung condition Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma and diabetes.

She was also undergoing tests for Parkinson’s Disease as she was frail and unsteady on her feet.