Killer who stabbed her partner during violent row is jailed for eight years

Kayley Mahood told the court in a note that she was truly sorry for the death of Oliver O’Toole.

Matthew Cooper
Thursday 27 January 2022 19:49
Kayley Mahood (Staffs Police)
Kayley Mahood (Staffs Police)

A woman convicted of killing her partner with a knife during a violent row at their home has been jailed for eight years.

Kayley Mahood was cleared of murder, but found guilty of manslaughter after telling Stafford Crown Court she was defending herself when she inflicted a single chest wound on 31-year-old former professional boxer Oliver O’Toole.

Body-cam footage released by Staffordshire Police showed Mahood protesting her innocence as she was arrested after killing Mr O’Toole at their home in Rosliston Road, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, on July 25 last year.

Oliver O’Toole died after suffering a single knife wound to the chest. (Staffordshire Police/PA)

Prosecutors had alleged Mahood, who had been punched in the face – suffering an eye wound, intended to kill or cause really serious harm.

It was also alleged Mahood had “abandoned” Mr O’Toole as he bled to death outside their home as she told witnesses he had “done it to himself”.

Passing sentence on Thursday, Judge Kristina Montgomery QC told the 30-year-old: “Everything that I heard from your neighbours and your friends… and everything that you told me yourself suggests that there was a pattern of behaviour in your relationship.

“It was one of good and bad times. In good times you would be a harmonious couple.

“But there were many times equally when you would pull apart. There were frequent vicious rows between you and in the aftermath of those there was violence.”

The judge, who said Mahood had used weapons to exact retaliation during rows before the killing, added: “I accept, as did the jury, that you did not intend to kill him. I accept, as did the jury, that you did not intend to cause grievous bodily harm.

“But I take the view that in availing yourself of the kitchen knife, which was recovered with Oliver O’Toole’s blood on it, and striking him with it in the manner which you demonstrated to the jury in your trial, was an act that was intended by you to cause harm falling just short of really serious harm.”

The judge said the background to the killing was a “build-up of frustrations” on Mahood’s part and her inability to deal with them by lawful means.

Having been assaulted by Mr O’Toole previously, the events on the morning of July 25 had been a “final straw” to Mahood, the judge said.

She told Mahood: “He caused you a nasty injury and I entirely accept your account of how you sustained it.”

The judge also accepted that Mahood, who was given sanctuary by a neighbour after being assaulted, had decided to leave Mr O’Toole and had only returned to their home to collect personal effects.

But the judge added: “When you encountered him again in the house and he was not contrite and he was not apologetic as you had expected, you and he could not put your differences behind you.

“You did what you had done before and took out on him your anger. The knife that you used on him was a significant weapon which you must have known could cause very serious injury.

“Your reaction to Mr O’Toole’s injury was, I accept, borne out of panic and a degree of distress as the realisation of what you had done began to dawn.”

Kayley Mahood captured on police bodycam footage during her initial arrest on suspicion of attempted murder (Staffordshire Police/PA)

Opening the Crown’s case last week, prosecutor Caroline Goodwin QC said Mr O’Toole collapsed in his back yard after being seen slumped on a wall.

Miss Goodwin told the court Mr O’Toole was pronounced dead at 12.32pm after paramedics called by a neighbour arrived shortly before midday.

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