'My nightmares after axing lover to death'

A former escort girl who hacked her lover to death with an axe told a court how the only reason she could live with her actions was "because I was right".

Jan Charlton, 36, told Leeds Crown Court her boyfriend Danny O'Brien was an "animal" who threatened to kill her and her three-year-old daughter Amy.

Mr O'Brien, 40, was found in his bedroom in Midgley, West Yorkshire, with an axe embedded in his head on May 23 last year. He had been struck at least 20 times.

Giving evidence on her sixth day in the witness box, Charlton said: "I have to live with this for the rest of my life and the only reason that I can is because I know that I was right."

Charlton admits killing Mr O'Brien but denies murder. She claims lawful self-defence and provocation.

Earlier Charlton described to the court how she experienced "terrible nightmares and flashbacks" before she realised she had killed Mr O'Brien.

She said: "Over the fortnight I had terrible nightmares and flashbacks. I actually thought I was going insane at the time."

But by the end of June last year Charlton said she realised she must have been responsible for his death. She added: "It felt like, yes, I had killed him, but I was not really sure of the reasons why. I just thought it was a bad dream that I would wake up from."

Charlton said Mr O'Brien had on many occasions made her feel "boring", with "no sense of adventure", because she did not always agree to certain sexual demands he made on her.

On one occasion, Mr O'Brien asked her to urinate on him and became "quite distressed" when she refused, Charlton told the jury. But Charlton also described Mr O'Brien as "one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet" when she first fell in love with him.

Copyright © 2003 Ananova Ltd