Tanya Hoskin, 52, stabbed her former husband Nigel Johnston in the chest with a knife in the kitchen of their Tennyson Way home one night soon after Christmas 2020.
Mr Johnston, 54, underwent emergency surgery at the scene but died a short time later from a single deep stab wound.
Exeter Crown Court heard that Hoskin had an explosive temper and would lash out over small things ‘at the flick of a switch.’ She said she would then be unable to recall any events during such an episode of anger.
Hoskin pleaded not guilty when she appeared before the court charged with murder.
The jury concluded that Hoskin had not intended to kill or cause Mr Johnston really serious harm and she was therefore found not guilty of murder and convicted of manslaughter. She was also found guilty of four counts of assault on emergency workers [police officers] during her time in police custody.
Today [1 March] she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The court heard that the fatal assault happened after a gin-drinking session at the couple’s home on the evening of 27 December 2020.
At 8.55pm a drunk Hoskin telephoned her sister claiming Mr Johnston was trying to bite her. The sound of the fatal assault then played out over the phone. Hoskin had picked up a large knife from the kitchen counter and attacked her partner. Her sister called 999 as did Hoskin.
Hoskin spoke with the ambulance service at 9.10pm confessing that she had stabbed Mr Johnston three times. She then raised a neighbour, shouting that she had “stabbed him” and asking for her help.
Mr Johnston was found lying wounded on the kitchen floor but still alive. The neighbour and Hoskin administered CPR; Hoskin was hysterical, saying sorry to him, telling him not to go and that she loved him.
Officers attended and found Mr Johnston lying injured. Hoskin openly told one of the officers that she had “stabbed him” after “he came at her.”
Hoskin, described as ‘extremely intoxicated’ by officers, was immediately removed from the scene by police and arrested.
A doctor performed an emergency procedure on Mr Johnston on an ambulance stretcher in the street in an effort to save his life but he died at 9.50pm. The cause of death was later determined as a fatal stab wound.
In Exeter custody, Hoskin repeatedly confessed to killing Mr Johnston after news was received that he had died. While in custody she punched one officer in the face and kicked him plus two other officers.
Exeter Crown Court was told that the couple married in 1989 but split in 1993. They reunited seven years ago and lived together; Hoskin became a carer to Mr Johnston due to ill health.
The relationship was described as volatile with some alcohol issues, and Hoskin was said to have an explosive temper, getting angry about small things.
In her defence, the jury was told of Hoskin suffering from complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, as well as the victim having placed her in a ‘sleeper hold’ in the past until she nearly passed out.
Detective Sergeant Samantha Wenham, of Devon and Cornwall Police Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Following today’s sentence and the jury finding Hoskin guilty of manslaughter, I would like to thank the family and witnesses for their bravery in giving evidence. Hoskin maintained that the killing was in self-defence and although the jury rejected this, they agreed that she had not intended to kill or seriously harm Nigel Johnston.
“This has been a very sad and tragic case and I can only hope that the family will draw comfort with today’s outcome.”