Woman jailed for killing mother in front of her pregnant daughter


A woman has been jailed for five and a half years for stabbing a woman to death in front of her pregnant daughter.

Siobhan Russell killed 36-year-old Marie Low in Dundee's Ballantrae Place in September 2016 following a row between the women two days earlier.

Russell, 31, was accused of murdering Ms Low but was convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

The jury rejected a plea that she acted in self-defence during a confrontation.

Judge Lord Burns told Russell that whatever the reason for Ms Low and her daughter coming to her house on that afternoon, "there was no justification for you coming out to confront her, far less armed with a knife".

The judge said: "It was an unprovoked attack with a knife."

Lord Burns said that he accepted that the assault was out of character for Russell and that he could take account of her history of depression and drug dependency.

The judge said he also accepted that Russell had shown remorse following the offence and that she had not sought out her victim on that particular occasion.

He said: "Nevertheless, the taking of a life by the use of a weapon such as a knife is a very serious matter."

'Shouting and screaming'

The trial heard from Ms Low's then-pregnant daughter, Jamie-Lee Low, who broke down in tears while giving evidence.

She told jurors: "Siobhan came out and she had a knife in her hand – she was shouting and screaming.

"I tried to get in the middle and told Siobhan to stop because I was pregnant.

"They were fighting and I was screaming for help.

"I watched her stab my mum. I watched her stab the knife in to my mum's chest or belly area."

The trial heard that a knife was later found under the kitchen sink in Russell's home that had her DNA on the handle and Ms Low's on the blade.

Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson argued that the verdict returned by the jury showed that Russell did not have the intention to kill.

He said the disposal of the case would clearly be a custodial sentence and Russell was aware of that.

Mr Paterson said that a background report on Russell showed she had "appropriate remorse for her conduct".

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