WALES/ENGLAND – Judges cut sentence for mum who stabbed ‘hated’ ex-husband

A middle-aged mother who “lost it” with her “hated” ex-husband, and stabbed him multiple times in front of two of their children, has had her jail term cut by top judges on appeal.

Shelia Mary Daley, 49, of Southey Street, Cardiff, stabbed the father of her five children, Terrence Topham, nine times with a kitchen knife after punching him to the ground in his own home during a fit of rage on June 21 last year.

Daley was jailed for eight years on October 24 last year after pleading guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Cardiff Crown Court.

Today Lord Justice Moses, Mr Justice Calvert Smith and Mrs Justice Sharp, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, slashed her sentence by two years, to six years.

The court heard that Daley had brought two of the former couple’s children back to Mr Topham’s home after swimming lessons when the incident occurred.

Mrs Justice Sharp said Daley “may have been upset about his plans to sell his house, or a new relationship” when she punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, where she then kicked him in the torso and legs.

Mr Topham, who has an artificial hip, was helpless on the ground as Daley snatched up a kitchen knife and stabbed him in the face and body a total of nine times.

The savage attack was only cut short when his cries for help brought two of the former couple’s sons to their father’s aid.

Afterwards Daley, who had reached the age of 49 with a clean criminal record, left, carrying their youngest child who was in pyjamas, and was arrested close by.

She told police she had “just lost it” and her lawyers told the court today that she and her victim had “grown to detest each other” and that there was “hatred between them.”

Mrs Justice Sharp said of the offences: “There was a lack of premeditation, and it was an offence committed on the spur of the moment.

“It took place in his home and was witnessed to their great distress by two of their children. In mitigation there is her remorse and guilty plea at the first opportunity.”

Going on to allow the appeal, the judge concluded: “Despite the serious nature of the attack, this should have led to a six-year sentence. Therefore the sentence imposed by the judge was in our view rather too long.

“We therefore reduce the sentence from eight years to six years imprisonment.”


Permanent link to this article: