Portsmouth murder accused tells jury: ‘I got the knife out to scare her’

Police at Toronto Road, Portsmouth.' Picture: Habibur Rahman
Police at Toronto Road, Portsmouth.' Picture: Habibur Rahman
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A drug addict who stabbed her friend to death over a £100 debt sobbed in court after claiming she was ‘devastated’ and never meant to kill her.

Victoria Arthur, 44, is accused of speeding over to Nadine Burden’s Fratton home in her wheelchair before butchering the victim to death after a row over a debt got out of control.

The 36-year-old victim was found dead in a pool of blood in January last year after suffering seven stab wounds including a fatal blow to her jugular.

Ms Burden owed Arthur’s partner Julie Palmer £100 after being lent the money in two instalments but was unable to pay it back when asked.

Arthur, of Milton Road, denies murder after saying she acted in self defence when she went to Ms Burden’s shared house armed with a knife.

‘Nadine was being confrontational when she answered the front door so I pushed her and slapped her in the face,’ Arthur told Salisbury Crown Court when giving evidence.

‘There was a bit of a tussle - [Nadine] hit me in the head a few times so I grabbed her pyjamas. She got me on the floor before I scurried away and got up.

‘I got the knife out my pocket to scare her. She came for me. I remember striking her once then again. I can’t remember a lot else.

‘I was trying to defend myself. I don’t know where I made contact.’

Asked by her defence barrister Nigel Lickley QC whether she accepted inflicting the seven wounds, Arthur added: ‘Yes I do. I don’t remember it though.’

Arthur said she left with Ms Burden still alive on the floor. The defendant told the court she offered to call an ambulance but a neighbour shouted they had already called one.

Arthur then fled the scene to her partner Ms Palmer’s address in Westminster Place before the police arrived later that night and arrested her on suspicion of murder.

The defendant told the court she was shocked when told of Ms Burden’s death.

She said: ‘I didn’t think I’d murdered anyone. I was feeling terrible. I didn’t believe it. She was my friend.’

(Proceeding)