Charlton tells jury 'I kept hitting him'

A former escort girl has sobbed as she described to a jury how she hacked a businessman to death with an axe after he threatened her and her daughter.

Jan Charlton told Leeds Crown Court how she remembers hitting boyfriend Danny O'Brien with the axe in the bedroom of their luxury home in Midgley, West Yorkshire, as they took part in a sex session.

She said she was amazed when her 40-year-old lover stood up after the first blow and described how she then just kept on hitting him in a panic.

Charlton, 36, was in tears as she told how she agreed to have kinky sex with Mr O'Brien to calm him down and prevent an argument on May 23, last year.

She told the jury the businessman began to threaten her three-year-old daughter, Amy. He also said he would chop off her head if she tried to leave the room. Amy was playing outside in the garden of the house at the time.

Charlton said she was in total panic when Mr O'Brien pointed out the axe in the room and she realised she could not leave the bedroom and escape with Amy.

She said she put handcuffs, a blindfold and a gag on him and he was knelt down with his back to her when she reached for the axe. She said: "I grabbed hold of the axe. I just hit him.

Charlton added: "He sprung up and turned round and his arms were by his side. I just thought I hadn't hit him properly and he could have grabbed it off me. He fell down to the floor and I just hit him."

She agreed with Robert Smith QC, defending, that she "just kept on hitting him" and when he asked if she realised she had hit Mr O'Brien at least 20 times she replied: "I didn't know I had. I didn't know it had been that many times."

Charlton denies murder and claims lawful self defence and provocation.

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