Hartlepool man is found guilty of murdering his partner

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A HARTLEPOOL man has been found guilty of murdering his partner.

The jury panel of eight men and four women found Paul Smart, 49, guilty of the murder of his common-law wife Angela Smeaton, 50.

He has been standing trial at Teesside Crown Court for more than a week after stabbing Ms Smeaton to death in April.

She had just attended the funeral of her brother Martin Smeaton and wake at the Hour Glass pub before returning home to Eddleston Walk.

Ms Smeaton, who ran Ange’s fish and chip shop in Owton Manor Lane, died after being stabbed and slashed 12 times by Smart with a kitchen knife.

Her partner of 29 years admitted being responsible for her death but denied murder on the grounds of loss of self control.

Steel worker Smart, of Eddleston Walk, claimed Ms Smeaton tried to stab him first with the knife but the jury found for the prosecution which said he was lying.

He told the trial he could not remember anything after wrestling the blade out of her hand.