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R v Michael John Catling

A judge had been correct to use a starting point of 15 years’ imprisonment where a defendant had knowingly imbibed a cocktail of anti-depressants and alcohol prior to the pre-meditated commission of a violent murder.

6 October 2006

The appellant (C) appealed against a sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum term of 13 years, one month after his guilty plea to murder. C had murdered his former girlfriend (G) by stabbing her with a large kitchen knife following an argument during which she had accused him of being a poor father. Following the murder, C had driven to a local police station with their 18-month-old daughter and had arrived in a distressed state claiming that there were intruders at the house. G had been found lying on her bed with multiple stab wounds to her chest, liver, lungs and her throat had been slit. The first stab wound was in the back of her shoulder and there was no sign of G defending herself, indicating that she had been asleep at the time of the attack. C was covered in airborne blood spatters from G and her blood was also found in the car. However, there was no blood on their daughter or a holdall that was also in the car, suggesting they had been placed there prior to the attack...

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