A Gainsborough woman who “killed the man she loved” with a single stab wound to the chest was today (Wed) jailed for seven years.
Pamela McLaggan, aged 51, picked up a steak knife in a “swift and spontaneous” reaction to something said or done by her boyfriend of eight years, Jonathan Baines, 44, a court heard.
Mr Baines, a former postman known to his friends as Willy, died from a single stab wound to the left side of his chest following the incident in the kitchen of his home in Ropery Road, Gainsborough.
Prosecutors accepted McLaggan did not intend to kill or seriously harm Mr Baines but had acted “recklessly” after a day spent drinking together on a pub excursion to Market Rasen races.
Lincoln Crown Court heard the couple had returned separately to Mr Baines’ home within minutes of each other after an evening spent drinking in Gainsborough following the races.
McLaggan arrived first by foot after misplacing her keys and was then seen to swear and slam the front door in the face of Mr Baines when he was given a lift home shortly after 12.40am, the court was told.
James House, prosecuting, said: “It is clear that argument continued in the house because within five minutes of going inside Mr Baines had been fatally stabbed.”
Mr House added: “It was a swift, spontaneous and dangerous act.”
The court heard McLaggan immediately rang her son and was attempting CPR and placing a t-shirt over the wound when he quickly arrived at the scene.
Efforts by police and paramedics to save Mr Baines failed. A postmortem found one stab wound of mild to moderate force.
McLaggan, who has previous convictions for assault dating back nearly 15 years, at first claimed to have found Mr Baines but later admitted causing the injury.
Mr House said the couple enjoyed a “good relationship” but could argue when in drink.
In a victim impact statement Mr Baines’ mother, June, described her son as a “loving person” who could see the good in people. She added that she did not wish McLaggan to return to Gainsborough after her release from prison.
In his statement Mr Baines’ father, Gerald, said he was in hospital in intensive care at the time of his son’s death.
Shaun Smith QC, mitigating, said McLaggan had lost her “best friend” after advances were made to her in the kitchen that she did not want.
The court was told McLaggan had endured a “miserable life” with parents who drank, and had been subjected to violence at school and at the hands of a former partner.
But Mr Smith said in the words of Mr Baines own mother “Pam made Willy happy.”
McLaggan, of Greystones Road, Gainsborough, admitted the manslaughter of Jonathan Baines on 1 August, this year.
Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told McLaggan that in an emotional letter addressed to him she admitted “you killed the man you loved”.
Judge Heath told her: “What a sad tale this is for everybody touched by it. It has understandably evoked high emotion.
“It is accepted by the prosecution that you did not intend to kill Jonathan Baines or to cause him really serious injury.”