Jan Charlton found not guilty

Jan Charlton, who admitted bludgeoning her lover to death with an axe, has been found not guilty of murder.

Mr O'Brien, 41, was found with the axe embedded in his head, lying naked, gagged, blindfolded and handcuffed at the house he shared with Charlton in Midgley, Wakefield, on May 23 last year.

Jan Charlton (PA)

He had been hit more than 20 times.

The prosecution alleged Charlton killed Mr O'Brien in "revenge" because he intended to end their relationship and return to a former girlfriend.

Charlton, 36, was found guilty of manslaughter despite the jury rejecting her claim she killed the wealthy businessman in self-defence after he threatened to kill her and abuse and kill her three-year-old daughter Amy.

Charlton was jailed for five years by the trial judge, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Norman Jones QC, who said she had committed a "grave offence" which left him with no choice but to give her a custodial sentence.

The judge told Charlton: "I take into account that you did not take the axe upstairs and only because he did so that you are here today.

"Nevertheless to take a man's life even in these circumstances is a grave offence and can only attract a sentence of a significant number of years."

"You were imbued with the desire to kill or cause very serious bodily injury to Danny O'Brien."

Judge Jones told Charlton that O'Brien was a "flawed man".

Charlton, wept as the verdict was delivered. She mouthed the word "sorry" to the public gallery as she was led away from the courtroom.

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