Man admits stabbing partner

Graham Barry (left) and Christine Henderson
Graham Barry (left) and Christine Henderson

A MUM of three was stabbed to death by her former partner in a brutal attack with a kitchen knife after she fled Hartlepool to escape him, a court heard.

Teesside Crown Court was told Graham Gibson calmly dialled 999 just half-an-hour after stabbing and slashing Christine Henderson 12 times to say: “I’ve stabbed my girlfriend to death.”

The court heard how after the attack he appeared “happy” and one witness described him as “buzzing”.

Christine Henderson, 50, died after suffering horrific injuries.

Gibson, 47, who went on trial for murder at Teesside Crown 
Court yesterday, admits killing Mrs Henderson but claims it was manslaughter as he didn’t intend for her to die.

The jury was told that Mrs Henderson had fled the house she shared with Gibson in Kent Avenue, Belle Vue, Hartlepool, around a week before her death to get away from his controlling, and sometimes violent, behaviour.

She had gone to stay with a close friend in the Brambles Farm area of Middlesbrough.

Jamie Hill QC, prosecuting, said: “Tragically it was in that house that Christine Henderson was to die.”

It was claimed that while Mrs Henderson lay dying, Gibson then stole around £100 from her handbag.

Mrs Henderson was pronounced dead at the home of Sheila Fawcett in Cherwell Terrace, Middlesbrough, in the early hours of July 2.

She had eight stab wounds and had been slashed three times to the head, neck and chest.

She had agreed to meet with Gibson, who the court heard had bombarded her with messages to try and win her back over the previous few days.

Mr Hill said: “He killed her, of this there is no doubt, by repeatedly stabbing her. We say it was a brutal and sustained attack.

“For his part, he does not deny the killing. He accepts that he at least intended to do really serious harm, but he is raising a statutory defence of loss of control.

“In essence he is saying he lost his self control”.

Mr Hill said Mrs Henderson was sitting at the kitchen table when she was attacked by Gibson and he continued to stab her while she was on the floor.

Mrs Henderson also suffered a cut to her right hand, where it is thought she tried to fight off the attack.

Gibson’s bloody hand print was found on her handbag, which should have had around £100 in it.

Mr Hill added: “We say even at that stage he was looking to steal from Mrs Henderson as she lay dying”.

The court was told Gibson accepts stealing from Mrs Henderson previously to fund a gambling habit.

Gibson left the house but did not dial 999 until around half-an-hour later when he told police: “I’ve stabbed my girlfriend to death”.

He was not arrested until 13 hours later and after a widespread police search.

Shortly after Mrs Henderson was stabbed, Gibson was seen in Marshall Avenue, Middlesbrough, by Liam Foster and Darryl Fawcett.

Mr Hill said: “He smiled and appeared happy. One lad described him as ‘buzzing’.

“The prosecution say that evidence does not fit with someone who subsequently claimed to have been provoked into losing control.

“We say he simply killed Christine Henderson in anger.”

Gibson, of Kent Avenue, Hartlepool, denies murder.

The trial, expected to last three weeks, continues.