Axe killer tells court she had no choice

A former escort girl who hacked to death her businessman boyfriend with an axe has told a jury she had no choice but to kill him.

Jan Charlton, 36, is giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court where she is charged with murdering 40-year-old Danny O'Brien at their home in Midgley, West Yorkshire, on May 23 last year.

Mr O'Brien was found with an axe embedded in his head in his blood-spattered bedroom. He was naked, face down and had been hit at least 20 times, the court has heard.

Within seconds of taking to the witness box mother-of-one Charlton was asked by Robert Smith QC, defending: "Are you able to say to the court why you killed Danny O'Brien?"

Charlton replied: "I had no choice. There was no way that my daughter was going to be harmed in any way and there's no way I was either. I hadn't got a choice."

The court has already been told that Charlton admits killing her lover but denies murder.

She says she was acting in self defence after Mr O'Brien threatened to sexually assault and kill her four-year-old daughter, Amy, as well as herself.

She also claims provocation.

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