Murder trial told accused stabbed victim seven times over £100 debt

Police at the scene in Toronto Road
Police at the scene in Toronto Road

A DRUG addict stabbed a woman seven times leaving her to die in a hallway over a £100 debt, a court heard.

Salisbury Crown Court heard wheelchair-user Victoria Arthur armed herself with a knife before propelling herself through the streets of Portsmouth to Nadine Burden’s home in Toronto Road, Fratton.

Nadine Burden

Nadine Burden

Jurors were told a neighbour saw Arthur looking ‘angry’ as she approached Ms Burden’s shared home on the night of January 28.

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said the neighbour heard the words ‘have it’ more than once before hearing her neighbour screaming and repeatedly asking ‘please stop’.

Another neighbour across the street had looked out of a window at 11.10pm to see a person three or four steps into the hallway and ‘leaning up the left-hand wall’.

Miss Maylin said the neighbour saw: ‘Victoria Arthur pulling the door at number nine shut behind her and (the neighbour) watched as she pulled her sleeve down and rubbed the front door, above and below the handle and the door handle itself before walking to the windowsill where she saw a wheelchair had been left.

‘The neighbour watched as the person got into the wheelchair and picked up crutches, put it under her legs before propelling themselves to Kingston Road.

‘She saw the wheelchair move off quite quickly.’

Medics were called when a man who shared the house with Ms Burden arrived home to find her in a foetal position in the hallway.

Paramedics tried to save her for around an hour but declared her dead at her home at 1am on January 29.

Ms Burden had suffered seven stab wounds to her neck, chin, upper left back, her arm and over her right shoulder, Miss Maylin said.

The prosecutor said the fatal wound had been to Ms Burden’s left jugular vein.

Arthur, 44, who denies murder but accepted she went to Ms Burden’s home with a knife and stabbed her twice, was seen returning to her partner’s home in Westminster Place on CCTV footage.

When police arrived at Ms Palmer’s home in the early hours of the morning, they found Arthur on the sofa and her clothes had been washed, jurors heard.

Arrested for the murder at 2.18am Arthur told police: ‘What? What? Who have I murdered?’

She later accepted she stabbed Ms Burden twice but said a struggle had broken out in the hallway.

Jurors were told they must decide if Arthur acted in self defence, had suffered a loss of control or had diminished responsibility.

Miss Maylin played and read out to the jury several voicemails and messages the prosecution say Arthur sent to Ms Burden over the money owed to Arthur’s partner Julie Palmer.

The prosecutor told how Palmer had given Ms Burden first £70 and then £30 and had been due to repay the money outside Ladbrokes earlier in the week.

But as the money was not paid back she received voicemail messages and texts from Ms Palmer’s phone, which prosecutors say was used by Arthur.

A voicemail said: ‘Believe me when I.. tell you bad things are going to... happen if you don’t get that money through my... girl’s door. Alright?

When interviewed by police Arthur said she meant: ‘I’d just go round and give her a slap when I next see her.’

She said she ‘hadn’t given her a slap as she hadn’t seen her,’ Miss Maylin said.

Two psychiatrists found Arthur, of Hope House, Milton Road, Portsmouth, suffered from an alcohol dependency disorder and opiate abuse disorder, Miss Maylin said.

One said, Miss Maylin told jurors, that as Arthur armed herself with a knife it ‘may well imply that the offence was a premeditated and organised act.’

However, Miss Maylin said Arthur says she went to Ms Burden’s home as she ‘had made threats towards’ Ms Palmer’s daughter.

Describing Arthur’s assertions, Miss Maylin said: ‘You will hear there was an angry argument, which she said led to a tussle.

‘Miss Arthur asserts that Nadine got her to the floor and she said whilst Nadine was on the floor she stabbed her.

‘She now says that she could only remember stabbing her twice.

‘She said she was going to call an ambulance but someone else said they would.’

Miss Maylin added: ‘She accepts she was responsible for the killing, you will have to determine in due course whether she was acting in self defence and whether there are any issues you need to decide.’

Arthur denies murder at her trial which is due to last up to three weeks.