Sara Thornton was convicted of the murder by stabbing of her brutal, alcoholic husband, a retired police officer, and sentenced to the penalty required by law: imprisonment for life.

We were instructed on her behalf in connection with her appeal against that conviction.

The conviction was contested at appellate level on grounds of cumulative provocation, the first time in English legal history that this ground was tested. Whilst the appeal failed, it established the foundation for future appellate level attacks on the narrow grounds of defence available in English law to battered women who killed.

Sara Thornton’ s second appeal (in which we did not represent her) succeeded on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Sara’s story was told in Jennifer Nadel’s excellent book, The Story of a Woman Who Killed.

The case inspired a BBC television film, Killing Me Softly. Attach to the words Killing Me Softly the following link: https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/7102367675784817809336b630275771

For media coverage of the case, please visit our Judgments and Media page.