A 55-YEAR-OLD man who murdered his partner following a row about DVDs featuring her late husband was yesterday jailed for at least 16 years.
Judge Johanna Johnston told Christopher Shone, who stabbed 43-year-old mother-of-four Mary Craig through the heart at their home in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, on 26 May, that she was imposing a life sentence.
A jury at the High Court in Glasgow rejected his claim that Ms Craig died while trying to stop him self-harming.
Judge Johnston said: “You were convicted of murdering Mary Craig. The jury rejected your defence of accident.
“There had been an argument and Ms Craig said she was fed-up with your behaviour. Later that day, you stabbed her through the heart.
“That brutal act robbed her of her life, robbed her children of their mother and tore apart the family.
“Her family have all been devastated by your crime. For her children, their lives will never be the same again.”
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As Shone was led away to begin his sentence, members of Ms Craig’s family shouted: “Murderer” and “Rot in hell” at him.
Defence QC Brian McConnachie said: “Mr Shone has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since an assault on him some years ago. That day, there was some kind of argument about the DVD. It is illogical and irrational, but it does seem this was on his mind.
“It resulted in an argument which led to the death of Mary Craig.”
Shone stabbed Ms Craig following an argument about old home videos in which her late husband was shown.
The court heard that, on the morning of the killing, Shone had gone with Ms Craig to her sister’s home. While they were there, an old home video was put on which showed Ms Craig with her ex-husband.
Shone claimed he soon “went into a low” as it had been difficult “seeing them together”. The couple later argued when Ms Craig returned home from her karate class. She questioned why he was upset, as her former husband had since died.
A neighbour, Amanda Brown, said Ms Craig was “usually cheery and bubbly” but this time appeared to be “quiet and looked fed-up”, adding: “I thought she was going to leave him … separate.”
She was killed later that night when Shone plunged a kitchen knife into her chest.
He put the murder weapon back into a knife block and sought no assistance for his dying partner. It was Ms Craig’s 13-year-old son who dialled 999.
The jury was played the emergency call where the distressed teenager repeatedly asked for help for his mother.
Shone was detained at his house and later apparently broke down when police told him Ms Craig had died.
In evidence, Shone claimed the death was a tragic accident after she tried to stop him self-harming. He said he had gone into the kitchen in the midst of a row and reached for a knife to cut himself.
Shone said Ms Craig got hold of his arm, but he tried to “wrestle” the blade away from her.
Asked what happened, Shone wept: “Her arm slipped off mine. My arm came down … it went into her. I just thought that it was a small cut.”
But prosecutor Steven Borthwick described Shone’s claims as a “pack of lies” and said he had stabbed Ms Craig “right to the hilt” of the knife.
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