Judge begins summing up in Mansfield murder trial

Ladybrook Place, where Emiel Blankert lived with Michelle Swift
Ladybrook Place, where Emiel Blankert lived with Michelle Swift

The judge in the murder trial of Mansfield woman Michelle Swift has begun his summing-up speech to the jury.

The trial at Nottingham Crown Court began two weeks ago and the jury are now expected to be sent out this afternoon, 1st July, to consider their verdict.

Miss Swift (49) denies attacking her long-term partner, Emiel Blankert at their flat on Ladybrook Place, Mansfield, in December.

Mr Blankert, an alcoholic and heroin addict, died in hospital days later from a perforated bowel.

The crown argues their relationship was ‘manifested in violence’, first with Mr Blankert being the aggressor, then as his health failed due to his addictions, Miss Swift became the dominant force.

Crucially, they say that CCTV footage showed Mr Blankert enter the flat on the Monday he was attacked, and only emerge hours later with swelling to his face - injuries that the crown says were inflicted at the same time as the fatal blow to his midriff.

But her defence counsel says there is no evidence that he was beaten up in the flat, and it was likely he had been set upon by a gang of thugs in the town, like he told people in the pub.

Following the closing speeches of the prosecution and defence, Judge Michael Stokes QC, faced the jury saying: “Your job as a juror is to answer two important questions: Are you sure that Michelle Swift inflicted the fatal injuries, and if she did, are you sure she intended to cause seriously bodily harm?

“You are the judge of the facts. It’s your view tat counts and no-one else’s.”

The trial continues.