Gomersal hairdresser admits stabbing partner – moments before murder trial was due to begin

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A hairdresser is facing a life prison sentence after admitting stabbing her partner to death in a ‘momentary loss of temper’.

Michelle Spencer, 48, today (Wednesday) dramatically changed her plea to guilty after appearing in court charged with murdering David Butterfield, 43.

Spencer had previously denied murdering father of two Mr Butterfield at her home in Gomersal, West Yorkshire, on January 13.

Her defence counsel Michelle Colborne QC told Leeds Crown Court she had now instructed them she wished to plead guilty.

Mr Butterfield died from a stab wound in his chest.

Miss Colborne said Spencer admitted the murder on a basis of a momentary loss of temper when she was holding a knife.

The court heard the basis was acceptable to the prosecution.

Miss Colborne asked for sentence to be adjourned until tomorrow (Thursday) so the defence can prepare a bundle of documents “dealing with her past, the fact she has children and her character references”.

She said that would also include photographs from many hundreds that had appeared on Facebook showing the time the couple had spent together “and plans for the future”.

Mr Justice Soole agreed to adjourn the sentence in view of the late stage at which the plea had been made.

“I understand you have been facing a contested matter until this moment.

“One has to recognise the limited scope for matters in mitigation, but it is important you should be in a position to put forward her case.”

Spencer was remanded in custody. Members of Mr Butterfield’s family were in court to hear the guilty plea.