Jury sent out to consider verdict

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The jury in the murder trial of Michelle Swift has been sent out to consider its 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 trial at Nottingham Crown Court began two weeks ago and the judge completed his summing of the evidence yesterday afternoon, Tuesday 1st July.

The crown argues the couple’s 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, when he went out to a cashpoint, like he told people in the pub afterwards.

Following the closing speeches of the prosecution and defence, Judge Michael Stokes QC, faced the jury saying: “There’s no dispute that Emiel Blankert was unlawfully killed, somebody carried out a sustained assault on him, somebody used severe force to cause the rupture to his bowel.

“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.”