A businessman, arrested in April 2014 following the death of his ex-partner, has been cleared of her murder after previously pleading guilty to manslaughter.
John Butler, 62, received the unanimous verdict from the jury at Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday 22nd October after a defence of ‘loss of control’ was raised by the defendant.
Butler stabbed Pauline Butler at her home numerous times on 14th April 2014 after it is alleged that she threatened to stop her ex-partner from seeing their granddaughter.
The court also heard that Pauline threatened Butler on two previous occasions with a knife.
Sentencing the defendant, the judge, Mr Justice Edis accepted that the jury had agreed Butler must have suffered from a ‘loss of control’ at the time of the attack and was thus acquitted of murder.
Representing Butler was Mr Abdul Iftikhar of Kamrans Solicitors, who says ‘justice has prevailed’ as Butler was cleared of the murder charge.
“The issue of domestic violence is one which is very real in all our communities and recently we have seen a rise in reports to the police,” Mr Iftikhar said.
“It is unfortunate to see children becoming embroiled in domestic cases but that is the sad reality of the situation which we currently have.
“Mr Butler has been acquitted of the charge of murder after we successfully argued that he suffered loss of control, a defence that rarely succeeds.”
“The father, along with his family, had to endure the traumatic experience of not only the loss of a loved one but also the legal proceedings. However, I believe the sentence passed upon Mr Butler on Thursday does justice to the circumstances of the case.”
Butler, who ran the Yeadon-based Kettley’s Furniture Centre, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter before the start of the trial.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison.