Grandmother who stabbed her husband of 34 years to death with a kitchen knife before continuing to prepare dinner at Christmas time is jailed for life over murder
A woman who murdered her husband of 34 years while preparing a post-Christmas supper was today jailed for life after a jury convicted her of murder in just three hours.
Hairdresser Teresa Hanson, 54, plunged a four-inch knife into the chest of Paul Hanson after he verbally abused her at their home in West Cowick, East Yorkshire.
She claimed the stabbing was an accident and insisted she did not know her husband, 55, had been wounded until she found him lying at the end of a trail of blood.
Hanson, who was convicted of murder following a one-week retrial, was today jailed for life with a minimum of nine years.
Teresa Hanson, 54, (right) fatally wounded her husband Paul Hanson, 54, (left) while preparing a post-Christmas dinner
Teresa Hanson, 54, (left) later used the same knife she killed her husband with to caramelise onions
Passing sentence at Hull Crown Court, Judge John Thackray, described the case as ‘tragic’ and said Hanson had not ‘intended to kill’.
He told her: ‘You met your husband in the mid 1980s on the college bus.
‘You were, to coin a phrase, childhood sweethearts, and from then on until his death were utterly devoted to each other.’
He added: ‘I accept your evidence that Mr Hanson was your world and that you felt upon learning of his death that you too had died.
‘I accept you will never forgive yourself and live with the burden of his loss for the rest of your life.’
Hanson ‘spontaneously’ stabbed her husband on the evening of December 28, 2022 – three days after the couple had hosted their adult children for Christmas at their £250,000 semi-detached marital home.
She lashed out after Mr Hanson, a construction manager, shouted at her when challenged for becoming increasingly drunk.
He yelled at her: ‘I didn’t f***ing want tea. Chuck it in the f***ing bin’.
The sharp blade pierced Mr Hanson’s heart and then severed his aorta, the body’s largest artery.
Mr Hanson, a ‘loving father’, who ‘adored his grandchildren’, suffered catastrophic blood loss and was pronounced dead at Hull’s Royal Infirmary.
Judge Thackray said: ‘I am satisfied that you were subject to significant provocation from Paul Hanson, who not for the first time was verbally abusing you because you were attempting, in his interest, to curtail his drinking.
‘He sought to continue the argument as you were cooking dinner for yourself and for him.
‘You were cutting onions as he came into the kitchen shouting at you. He was calling you a bitch and telling you to ‘throw his f***ing dinner in the bin’.
‘He was approaching you from behind and from the left.’
‘He was a large gentleman, over 6ft tall and over 15 stone, while you are only a little over 5ft tall.
Teresa Hanson, 54, (right) lashed out after Paul Hanson (left) shouted at her: ‘I didn’t f***king want tea. Chuck it in the f***ing bin.’
Construction worker Paul Hanson (pictured) was described in court as a ‘loving father’ who ‘adored his grandchildren’
‘Despite this, you frankly admitted that you were not in fear of him but you were understandably upset at what he was saying and told him not to speak to you like that.
‘That was something which neighbours had previously heard you say to him over the preceding months during similar but less tragic arguments.
‘Sadly on this occasion, you were, as you told the police when they attended, also angered by what he had said to you.
‘And you used the knife in a spontaneous act of violence by stabbing him to the chest area.
‘Not for one moment did you intend to kill your husband but you did intend, even only briefly, really serious harm.
‘Undoubtedly you immediately regretted what you had done.’
In a 999 call made shortly after 7pm, Hanson told an emergency operator that she had stabbed Mr Hanson ‘just out of anger’.
She said: ‘We had an argument. I was cutting, cooking tea and he told me to ‘f*** off’ and ‘I’m a bitch’ so I just like, I don’t know what I did’.’
When emergency crews arrived at the couple’s £250,000 village home, Hanson offered them cash to save his life.
She told two paramedics: ‘You lot are the experts. If you can save him I’ll give you £1,000 each if you can.’
On her arrest, Hanson, who had denied murder, claimed her husband had accidentally walked on to the outstretched knife.
And, in a later account, she said that she pushed him away because he was shouting in her face – unaware that the blade had penetrated his cotton t-shirt and chest.
She claimed she continued chopping onions with the same blade and only realised her husband had been fatally stabbed when she heard their dog bark.
Judge Thackray, the Recorder of Hull, said his sentence took into account calls for clemency from the couple’s adult children.
He said: ‘This provocation to you did not justify your actions.
‘There is only one sentence that can be imposed upon you and that is a sentence of life imprisonment.
‘That will be the sentence in this case.’
During the murder trial, Hanson denied wanting to injure her husband and claimed that she did not realise she was holding the blade.
Giving evidence, she said: ‘I was cooking onions but I wasn’t conscious of it being in my hand at that point, but it was.
‘I didn’t even know I had stabbed him until I had seen him. I didn’t know what had happened.
‘It was an accident. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.’
In a 999 call made shortly after 7pm, Hanson told an emergency operator that she had stabbed Mr Hanson ‘just out of anger’
Ms Hanson pictured leaving Hull Crown Court during the trial over the murder of her husband
Dismissing Hanson’s account as a ‘lie’, Alistair MacDonald, KC, prosecuting, told the murder trial: ‘Injuries like that simply don’t happen’.
Mr Hanson was pronounced dead at 8.25pm on December 28. The court was told he had no defensive injuries.
During the trial, jurors were earlier shown pictures of the 2cm-wide blade, pictured near to a black pan where onions were being caramelised, with a roll of filo pastry and glass of red wine nearby.
Hanson told the court that her husband had consumed three or four glasses of red wine and the couple had been watching films and dancing earlier in the day.
Mr Hanson was the victim of a mass car crash on the M42 motorway near Birmingham in 1997 and was left in intensive care.
He also suffered a brain injury around a decade ago after being punched on a night out and hitting his head on the concrete.
The judge said Mr Hanson’s brain injuries left him unable to handle quantities of alcohol.
He added: ‘It was on those occasions he would verbally abuse you. That must have been incredibly challenging for you.
‘Until the day you took his life you never faltered. But faltered you did on December 28, 2022, when you brandished a knife and in temper struck out at your husband.
‘The tragic circumstances of your case demonstrates in the clearest terms the dangers of wielding a knife and using it.’
Their daughter Sherri had posted festive pictures taken at her parent’s home on Facebook, captioned: ‘We’ve had the best day today with family.’
In another post she thanked Hanson, telling her: ‘We had the best day!
‘Thank you for the best Christmas dinner xx’.
In a victim impact statement, son Ryan pleaded with the court for leniency.
He said: ‘The events of December 28 have had a devastating effect on our family.
‘Our mum and dad were central to everything we did.
‘We spent a lot of time together as a family, usually at their home.
‘We have lost our rock, the core of the family and the people who helped us to keep going.’
Jason Pitter, KC, defending Hanson, who had no previous convictions, said: ‘I’m not equipped to put into words the sense of tragedy in this case.
‘I’m not confident I could do it justice’.
He told the court that Hanson had ‘no intention’ to kill her husband, adding that she had since been diagnosed with symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Mr Pitter added: ‘She blames herself for what happened. The one thing she was clear not to do was to blame her husband.’
Hanson whispered ‘thank you’ as the judge instructed court bailiffs to take her to the cells.
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