Axe woman tells court of feelings for boyfriend

A former escort has told a jury how she came to meet her businessman boyfriend who she hacked to death with an axe.

Jan Charlton, 36, is giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court where she denies murdering 40-year-old Danny O'Brien saying it was self defence at their home in Midgley, West Yorkshire.

Charlton told the court she was first contacted by Mr O'Brien after she had asked for her details to be taken off the UK Escorts website.

She said he told her he had downloaded her information, printed it off and kept it. Charlton told the jury she spoke to him a number of times over the phone before agreeing to meet him at his house. She said he had originally called her because he was looking for someone to take to the Hedonism resort in Jamaica but she told him she could not go.

Asked about her first impressions of him she said: "He was very outgoing, very friendly. We sort of hit it off. He was really, really friendly. I was actually quite nervous and he was really good at putting me at my ease. He got me a glass of wine and we just talked and talked and talked. I was looking forward to seeing him again."

Charlton said she stayed the night but it was not until their next meeting that they had sex. She said the sex was basically normal and it was not until later she realised Mr O'Brien was involved in more extreme practices.

Charlton said he was planning to go to Jamaica with a former girlfriend and he had ordered a see through plastic dress and a black PVC "all-in-one" for her to take with her. She said he also told her about his relationship with another former girlfriend, Lynn Golland.

Charlton said: "He said they'd had a very open relationship. They'd been involved on various occasions in group sex. I realised that he was bisexual. I suppose I was fairly broadminded. I also did not know the extent of what had gone on."

Charlton was also asked about the so-called purple book in which the couple began to record their feelings about each other. She said it started when Mr O'Brien abandoned his trip to Jamaica and instead took her to Seahouses, Northumberland, for a short break in October, 2000.

Charlton told the court: "I have never been out with anyone like him before. I have never been with anybody who wanted to be with me so much. It was a fantastic feeling. He was besotted with me. I suppose in a way that made me feel special."

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