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Man stabbed to death by partner suffered years of domestic abuse

Michelle Spencer
Michelle Spencer

A 43-year-old man who was stabbed to death by his partner had suffered a history of domestic abuse at her hands without reporting it, police have said

Michelle Spencer, 48, was jailed for life, with a minimum tariff of 13 years, for the murder of David Butterfield, West Yorkshire Police said.

Officers said Spencer and Butterfield had an altercation at their home in Shirley Terrace, in Gomersall, West Yorkshire, which ended in Spencer attacking her partner with a knife, causing a single fatal stab wound to his chest.

Detective Inspector Ben McDonald said the police investigation uncovered a history of unreported violence which Spencer had inflicted on Butterfield and her previous partners.

He said Spencer first tried to claim her partner had been attacked on his way back from the shops and then told detectives it had just been an accident.

But the truth was pieced together by officers and forensic experts.

Spencer was due to go on trial at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday, but admitted murder.

She was sentenced at the same court on Thursday by Mr Justice Soole.

Mr McDonald said: "As a result of diligent and meticulous inquiries by the police investigation team, a violent woman has been brought to justice. Having originally lied to the police regarding the circumstances, the team have been able to uncover the facts, which has resulted in a guilty plea.

"Mr Butterfield had suffered domestic abuse at the hands of his partner and ultimately paid the price for the fact that these incidents were never reported to the police. No one, women or men, should suffer domestic violence and I would encourage victims of such incidents to contact the police or Victim Support as soon as possible."

Police described Mr Butterfield as "a hard working Yorkshireman" who leaves two children, aged 16 and 19.