A WOMAN who claimed to have been the victim of domestic violence when she stabbed her lover to death has lost an appeal against her conviction for murder.
London's Criminal Appeal Court rejected 42-year-old Catherine Keaveney's claim that the trial judge had misdirected the jury on the issue of provocation at her trial nearly eight years ago.
But Lord Justice Rose concluded there had been no injustice to Keaveney and her trial had been fair.
Keaveney, formerly of Halton Brook, Runcorn, was caged for life in May 1996 after being found guilty of the murder of her live-in boyfriend Christopher Burke.
He died from a stab wound to his heart, which a medical expert said would have 'required as much force as you could produce'.
Lord Justice Rose said: 'It was the prosecution case that this was murder by Keaveney stabbing the deceased in a violent rage.
'It was the prosecution case that she sought to rely on lies, blackening the deceased's name and casting him as the villain in their relationship in order to escape her predicament.
'It was the prosecution case that her claimed lack of memory as to exactly what happened was wither a convenient case of amnesia or it was down to the cocktail of alcohol and drugs which she regularly used.
'Alternatively, it was the defence case that she had been provoked into acting as she did because of the history of physical abuse which she had suffered at the deceased's hands.'
Top QC Lady Helena Kennedy, for Keaveney, argued the trial judge gave an insufficient direction to the jury on the issue of provocation, resulting in the conviction being 'unsafe'.
She referred to one question posed during the trial relating to whether a reasonable woman in Keaveney's shoes would have lost her self-control and reacted as she did.
The QC claimed the judge should have referred to Keaveney's particular 'characteristic' - the violence she suffered at Mr Burke's hands.
But Lord Justice Rose concluded the judge had sufficiently and properly directed the jury noting that a number of times he said 'in her position' or 'in her shoes'.
In dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Rose said he was unsurprised the jury had not believed Keaveney's evidence.
He said that while Keaveney had claimed to live a life of abuse with her partner being the aggressor, he noted evidence from prosecution witnesses - including neighbours - did not support her claims.
Keaveney claimed that on the night of the murder, Mr Burke had battered her and pulled some of her hair out before getting a knife which she managed to wrestle from him.
As he came towards her, Keaveney thrust out the knife. Later she claimed not to know whether the blade had made any contact.
Lord Justice Rose, sitting with Mr Justice Hughes and Mrs Justice Gloster, said: 'Her evidence did not explain the great force which was required to inflict the fatal wound.
'As it seems to us, there was no misdirection in this case and the appeal must be dismissed.'