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Killer's Bid To Clear His Name Is Rejected

Monday June 30 2014

Stephen Barnsdale-Quean Stephen Barnsdale-Quean

A KILLER who strangled his wife but tried to make it look like suicide has had his bid to clear his name rejected by top judges.

Stephen Barnsdale-Quean, 44, was jailed for life at Sheffield Crown Court in September last year after a jury convicted him of murdering 35-year-old Chantelle, who was found by police dead in her bedroom, having been throttled with a metal chain.

At the trial Barnsdale-Quean, of Upperwood Road, Darfield, claimed his wife had been prey to sudden mood swings and violent rages - and that she attacked him with a knife on the day of her death.

He said he woke to find the mother-of-two "cutting at him", Lord Justice McCombe told London's Appeal Court, and that he fled into the hall with a knife sticking out of his side after she stabbed him in the thigh and stomach.

He claimed he was just able to call 999 before he collapsed.

Barnsdale-Quean insisted his wife must have killed herself after her frenzied attack on him - but his elaborate story was rejected by the jury.

The prosecution said he had killed his wife using the chain and that he then injured himself with the knife.

His case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged the conviction, with his legal team claiming the trial judge should have directed the jury to consider an alternative verdict of "manslaughter due to loss of control".

However, Lord Justice McCombe said there was no basis for such a course, and to conclude that Barnsdale-Quean killed his wife due to a sudden loss of control would have been "mere speculation", as there was simply no evidence to back it up.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Supperstone and Judge Clement Goldstone QC, said: "We are of the clear view that there was no evidence of loss of control to be left to the jury, and therefore the murder conviction is safe."

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