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Axe killer says her life was 'a nightmare'

A former escort girl has denied hacking her boyfriend to death with an axe because she was about to lose her "dream lifestyle".

Jan Charlton, 36, told a jury at Leeds Crown Court her life had been a "nightmare" before she attacked Danny O'Brien at the home in Midgley, West Yorkshire.

Charlton admits killing Mr O'Brien on May 23 last year but denies murder. She claims lawful self defence and provocation.

During Charlton's fourth day in the witness box Paul Worsley QC, prosecuting, asked her: "This man offered you a lifestyle, a house, not having to be a prostitute any more, a beautiful home for Amy with toys and a nice bedroom. It was a dream that you were not prepared to let go."

Charlton sobbed as she replied: "It was a nightmare. I had no friends. I could not see my family. It was no way a dream life and not the life I wanted for my little girl. It was why I was leaving."

She told the jury again how 40-year-old Mr O'Brien had threatened to kill both her and four-year-old Amy as the couple indulged in kinky sex.

Charlton says she was trying to calm him down after he had shown her an axe in a dressing room and told her he would not let her leave the bedroom.

Mr Worsley pressed her again and again on why she did not just run away once she had her lover kneeling before her naked, blindfolded, gagged and handcuffed.

She replied: "There was no way I was going to take the risk. At that moment in time all I could think was I was only going to get halfway down the stairs. All he had to do was to knock me down and he had Amy."

The court had heard Amy was playing in the garden at the time of the attack. Mr O'Brien was found in his bedroom with the axe embedded in his head. He had at least 20 injuries.

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