UPDATE:  SHAKING and crying as she walked free from Mackay Courthouse, a woman who fatally stabbed her partner in the heart can return home without a manslaughter charge hanging over her head.

Peta Louise Ansford was also emotional as the jury delivered a verdict of not guilty in her manslaughter trial.

As emotion overwhelmed her, the mother of two took a few moments to compose herself before she spoke to family, friends and her lawyers following the week and a half-long trial.

Ms Ansford stabbed her partner of two years, Luke Mitchell, in the heart following a heated argument between the couple on May 7, 2017.

Peta Ansford
Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury
Peta Ansford Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury Lee Constable

Yesterday, on their second day of deliberation at Mackay Supreme Court, the jury decided Ms Ansford acted in self-defence.

Justice David North said while he usually did not comment on verdicts, he felt in this case the jury had made the right decision.

The outcome of the trial clearly overwhelmed Ms Ansford's family, with the public gallery becoming emotional and crying as the verdict was read out.

Outside the court, victims advocate and mother of slain Mackay man Timothy Pullen, Leanne Pullen, spoke on behalf of Mr Mitchell's family.

"We're very sad ... justice wasn't served for Luke," she said.

"The real Luke, that the family loved and knew, was not the Luke that has been portrayed over the past week."

 

Luke Mitchell's family leave court.
Luke Mitchell's family leave court.

During the trial, one neighbour said she witnessed "quite a few verbal arguments" between the accused woman and her partner.

Other witness testimonies also detailed a history of alleged abuse.

Ms Ansford's lawyers portrayed Mr Mitchell as verbally, emotionally, financially and physically violent man who "drank and smoked all of his money from the government".

The prosecution said the relationship was fraught with dysfunction on both sides.

At the end of the trial, Justice North said he had been told yesterday morning that some members of the jury had felt uncomfortable because one person in the public gallery had been trying to make eye contact.

"I did not witness any conduct but I take the report quite seriously," he said.

Justice North said if he had known about it earlier, he would have spoken to the person directly. He said the jurors were able to overcome the situation and perform their job.

Peta Louise Ansford and a member of her counsel.
Peta Louise Ansford and a member of her counsel. Caitlan Charles


 

EARLIER: A WOMAN who fatally stabbed her partner in the heart has been found not guilty of manslaughter.

Whether or not Peta Louise Ansford had killed her partner of two years was never in question, but the jury had to decide if it was an unlawful killing or in self-defence.

Jurors, who heard during the trial about a history of domestic violence, have decided Ansford killed Luke Mitchell in self-defence. She can now walk free from the court.

YESTERDAY: A WOMAN who stabbed her partner in the heart will soon learn her fate.

Peta Louise Ansford has admitted to killing her partner of two years, but pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter in the Mackay Supreme Court.

 

Luke Mitchell died in Mackay after his partner Peta Ansford stabbed him in the heart. She pleaded not guilty to his manslaughter in 2019.
Luke Mitchell died in Mackay after his partner Peta Ansford stabbed him in the heart. She pleaded not guilty to his manslaughter in 2019.

Her defence lawyer has argued she killed him in self-defence.

After five days of hearing evidence, the jury has retired to deliberate in the trial against Ms Ansford.

There is no doubt that Ms Ansford killed her partner, Luke Mitchell, but the jury must decide in the killing was unlawful or an act of defence.

What we know so far:



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