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Wirral mum who fatally stabbed partner is jailed for life
A young mum who stabbed her partner to death during a heated row in their home has been jailed for life.
25-year-old Cherie Cooper, who admitted murder, was ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years before she can apply for parole.
"It was a single blow with a large knife which you plunged into Darren Dempsey's chest," said Judge Mark Brown.
"He was not being violent towers you and I am satisfied in that moment you had every intention to kill him."
Liverpool Crown Court heard that there was a history of domestic violence on both sides between the couple, who have a two-year-old son and who had been together for six years.
After Cooper was arrested at their home in Briardale Road, Birkenhead, on August 17 after the stabbing she told officers, "I have stabbed him because he was f****** horrible."
At the police custody suite she said: "He deserved what he got, six years I've put up with it. I know what I have done was wrong but I couldn't take any more. I should have done this years ago."
Anne Whyte, QC, prosecuting, said that the couple had had a volatile and violent relationship and a history of drug taking.
Mr Dempsey's brother, Graeme, said "they were as bad as one another" but the violence never involved weapons.
Three weeks before the tragedy, Cooper went crying to the home of their next door neighbours, who had heard fighting on previous occasions, with a clump of hair missing and she said Dempsey often punched her.
The fatal incident occurred after the couple had been drinking since early afternoon. Mr Dempsey was annoyed when she returned late from buying more alcohol and said she had been sexually assaulted by the shopkeeper.
Mr Dempsey did not believe her and the row continued in the kitchen and his brother, who was visiting them, went into the room to separate them.
They were shouting at each other and the neighbours called the police. But before they arrived Cooper picked up a large knife and plunged it once into her partner's chest penetrating his heart.
Paramedics arrived but he suffered a cardiac arrest and they performed CPR. He was transferred to Arrowe Park Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
The knife had penetrated 12cm and moderate force would have been necessary to inflict such a wound.
When interviewed, Cooper spoke of domestic violence and said she felt he had not been spending enough time with their son and had been drinking and smoking cannabis too much.
"She felt he had not been pulling his weight. She could recall the build up to the argument on the night in question but could not recall stabbing Mr Dempsey, although she accepted that she must have been responsible. She agreed she was drunk at the time. To use her words she thought that she had just snapped," said Miss Whyte.
Keith Sutton, defending, said Cooper, who has no previous convictions, had reacted on the spur of the moment while intoxicated.
She remembered the argument but not stabbing Mr Dempsey, a father-of-three, though accepted she had done so.
If the row had not been taking place in the kitchen it was unlikely the incident would have ended as it did.