Probation for woman who killed brutal lover

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN who shot dead the man she lived with after 10 years of violent abuse was placed on probation for three years yesterday.

Sandra Fleming, 26, denied murdering Christopher Porter, 28, but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge William Wickham, told Liverpool Crown Court the case was 'wholly exceptional'. He said: 'Doctors take the view that when you killed Christopher you were suffering from an abnormality of mind which substantially impaired your responsibility. . .'

He had been told that Fleming endured physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of Porter, a drug dealer. He had a pathological hatred of doctors and forced her to have two of their three children alone at their home in Litherland, Merseyside, said David Harris QC, for the defence.

Porter had stabbed her, knocked her unconscious with an iron, regularly raped her and forced her to indulge in bizarre sexual 'happy hours', Mr Harris said. She had a tattoo put on her arm because he had threatened to kill her and chop her into pieces, but he burnt it off with a heated knife. The children, a nine-year- old boy and girls aged eight and two, were asleep on 26 April last year when Porter forced her to have sex. He then beat her after she complained about him hurling their daughter into a wall and whipping their son with an aerial.

Porter then threatened her with his loaded Luger pistol. He also pointed the gun at their eldest daughter, threatening to shoot her if Fleming left. When Porter fell into a drunken asleep, she shot him at point blank range in the back of the head and fled with the children, not realising she had killed him.

Mr Harris said: 'She was suffering battered women's syndrome.' He spoke of 'a pattern of physical, sexual and emotional abuse which continued its unremitting and savage course'.