A JURY are returning to consider whether a wheelchair-bound drug addict murdered her friend after a row over a £100 drug debt spiralled out of control.
Victoria Arthur, 44, is now awaiting her fate after bludgeoning Nadine Burden to death in a frenzied attack at her Fratton home last year.
Jurors at Salisbury Crown Court will have to decide whether the defendant acted in self-defence after speeding over to Ms Burden’s Toronto Road home on January 28, 2016 before plunging a knife into the victim seven times.
Ms Burden, 36, was found slumped in a hallway by her housemate before medics were called. But despite attempts to save her life she was pronounced dead at 1am on January 29.
The court was told Arthur had become increasingly angry when finding out Ms Burden owed her partner Julie Palmer £100.
Tensions had continued to rise after Arthur felt Ms Burden was meddling in her relationship with Ms Palmer after threatening to tell family members they were back together.
On the night Ms Burden was killed, neighbour Vanessa West told the court she saw Arthur approach Ms Burden’s home before hearing the words ‘have it’ several times followed by ‘screams’ from the victim while she begged for her life when pleading repeatedly ‘please stop’.
Arthur, who denies murder, was then seen shutting the door and cleaning the handle before quickly making off to Kingston Road. She was seen on CCTV returning to Ms Palmer’s address in Westminster Place.
When police arrived at Ms Palmer’s home in the early hours of the morning they found Arthur on the sofa with her clothes washed, jurors heard.
‘What? What? Who have I murdered?’ Arthur said when questioned by police. ‘I haven’t murdered anyone.’
Jurors were told they must decide if Arthur, of Hope House, Milton Road, Portsmouth, acted in self-defence, had suffered a loss of control or had diminished responsibility due to her personality disorder.
Arthur accepts she went to Ms Burden’s home with a knife and stabbed her twice but claims the incident happened after a tussle when Ms Burden had bundled her to the floor.
Ms Burden had been told repeatedly to pay back the £100 by Arthur in a series of threatening text messages and voicemails.
‘You’re done for,’ Arthur had warned before going to Ms Burden’s house.
Prosecutor Kerry Maylin, in summing up, said Arthur’s actions were calculated after she stormed round to Ms Burden’s house brandishing a knife.
‘There was a tussle but after scurrying away could Ms Arthur not have just left? But for whatever reason she got out the knife and used it before having the presence of mind to wipe the door, make the journey home, wash her clothes and then lie to the police.’
Defence barrister Nigel Lickley argued Arthur went to Ms Burden’s home to ‘give her a slap’ over the debt and for threatening to spill the beans over the defendant’s relationship with Ms Palmer.
‘It developed into something very different to what she intended. Ms Arthur killed someone she was close to and will have to live with that for the rest of her life,’ Mr Lickley said.
Judge Mrs Justice May told jurors: ‘This was a serious and tragic incident. There’s no doubt Ms Arthur violently assaulted Ms Burden with a knife causing seven stab wounds,’ she said.
‘You have to be sure she intended to kill or cause serious injury (to convict for murder).’