Breaking News: Ilkeston man pleads guilty to manslaughter of girlfriend

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An Ilkeston man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his girlfriend.

Ian Meakin, 49, stabbed Angela Ward, 27, with a bread knife in her flat in Critchley Street on May 4 this year.

Anglea Ward, 27.

Anglea Ward, 27.

He appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday where he was due to stand trial on a charge of murder. However he pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. The jury was dismissed on the basis that the crown were willing to accept that it was a ‘split second reaction’ as a result of ‘a loss of control caused by a fear of serious violence.’

The court heard that he and Angela - his girlfriend of two years and 22 years his junior - would often argue after drinking large amounts of alcohol.

Prosecuting, John Lloyd-Jones QC, said Meakin stabbed and killed Angela, his partner of two years, on a landing outside the flat where she lived.

He said: “They enjoyed drinking alcohol, often to excess. When in drink Angela someone who would lose her temper and would abuse or assault Mr Meakin. In fairness, though Mr Meakin was himself not an aggressive, violent person, he knew how to wind her up.

“Neighbours would hear arguments.”

He said CCTV showed the couple in Ilkeston, though they appeared to be arguing Meakin did not react to it.

He said: “The couple had gone out for the afternoon, both had drank nine to ten pints. They went home and the arguments started. It was a fraught afternoon, she was irritated by his behaviour but they made up and embraced each other.

“Back home during the course of the argument he (Meakin) knocked on a neighbour’s door and said he needed some help. She didn’t want to get involved but said she was sure that Angela was alive at that time. At first it was thought this was to cover his tracks but this hasn’t been supported. He goes to her door again holding the body of what is now a dying Angela Ward. She had two injuries, one was shallow, but one was 20 centimetres deep and led to her death. He said she came at him with two knives. He said he disarmed her and in effect turned the knife on her.”

He said the Crown were keen to disprove that but were unable to, adding that Meakin sustained a stab wound to his thigh.

In police interview Meakin said a ‘nastiness’ had been going through his mind and he wanted to cause Angela ‘a bit of pain’.

Mr Lloyd-Jones said: “We take the view that a jury hearing all the evidence may well have concluded that he was exposed at that moment to a serious rick of violence.”

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC will hear victim impact statements from Angela’s family on Thursday and decide on his sentence.