Tragic Washington mum accused of stabbing husband to death

The trial is taking place at Newcastle Crown Court.
The trial is taking place at Newcastle Crown Court.

A mum who stabbed her husband in the heart spoke the name of their dead child as he died, murder jurors have heard.

Atakan Atay was only able to utter the words "nine nine nine please" while struggling to breathe during the 17-minute call with the emergency services last October.

After the 45-year-old fell silent, his wife Helena Atay, known as Karine, could be heard telling him: "You're lying. I would never do that to you Atakan. I would never hurt you."

The 42-year-old mum also said to her dying husband "there's Sophie", which is the name of their three year old daughter who died of neuroblastona, and told him "We're going to get you an ambulance. I'm really sorry. I love you so much."

Mr Atay, who had business interests in a hotel and a convenience store named after the couple's late daughter, died after receiving two stab wounds, one of which punctured his heart, at their home in Birtley, Gateshead.

His wife, who was brought up in Washington, denies murder and is being tried by a jury.

The court heard Atay initially told police her husband had "enemies" and that she had been in bed when she heard a fight downstairs that night.

She later told police she had been the victim of controlling and coercive behaviour by her husband.

Atay said in a statement she had been strangled to the point where she feared she would pass out in an attack by her husband the year before.

She said on the night he was killed, Mr Atay and she had argued when she tried to leave the house for more drink, that he was "angry" and had kicked her in the leg and hurt her arm.

Atay claimed she was "terrified" her husband was "really going to hurt her".

Prosecutor John Elvidge told the court: "It went, she said, from arguing to pushing and shoving.

"She told him she was going to climb out of the window and the next thing she remembered was grappling in the sitting room."

Atay said in the statement: "Then all I remember is being above him to the side. I remember his face and I remember thinking he's faking it as he was pulling a horrible face."

She added: "I'm struggling to cope with knowing I have done it as I know I was arguing and defending myself against him at one point.

"I can't really remember what happened. I can't remember getting any knife or using a knife or seeing a knife I remember I felt more scared yesterday and I thought my only option was found get out of the window at one point. My head is all over the place and I am still in shock.

Prosecutors claim Atay "exaggerated" her husband's past behaviour and minimised her own conduct.

Mr Elvidge said the accused mum could be "volatile, confrontational, aggressive and threatening" in drink and had been in trouble because of it in the past.

He said her alcohol problems date back to before the tragic death of the couple's young daughter.

Mr Elvidge told jurors: "The prosecution says that on the night of October 18, 2018, as on previous occasions, her craving for alcohol led Karine Atay to seek to leave the matrimonial home.

"There was a confrontation but not a grave one until she chose to pick up a knife and use it against her unarmed husband, deliberately and unlawfully stabbing him more than once, delivering a fatal wound that penetrated into his heart and caused his death."

The trial continues.