'I don't blame you': Court told of Exmouth stabbing victim's last words in murder trial

Tennyson Way Exmouth GSV (1)

The stabbing happened at a property in Tennyson Way, Exmouth - Credit: Google Street View

A woman who stabbed her husband to death asked police to lock her up and throw away the key, a court has heard.

Tanya Hoskin refused to believe that she had killed 55-year-old partner Nigel Johnson when she was first charged with murder - and accused police who tried to save his life of killing him.

Hoskin was on the phone to her sister at the exact moment she inflicted the three deep and fatal stab wounds to Mr Johnson’s chest.

Mrs Hutchings told a jury at Exeter Crown Court that she heard a metallic sound just before the killing, which sounded as if a knife was being tapped against a kitchen worktop.

The next thing she heard was Mr Johnson saying he was bleeding but trying to reassure Hoskin that he was all right. 

His final words were, "It is all right, I don’t blame you".

Hoskin's sister heard her saying, "Oh my God, open your eyes, count with me, stay with me, Nigel, please open your eyes".

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Hoskin, 52, of Tennyson Way, Exmouth, denies murder. She accepts she was responsible for the killing but says it was an accident or she was acting in self-defence.

The prosecution say she stabbed Mr Johnson three times in the kitchen of their home at around 9.30pm on December 27, 2020, at a time when they were spending Christmas together in lockdown.

They say they had both been drinking wine and pink gin and there had been a drunken argument a few minutes earlier which Hoskin had recorded on her phone.

READ MORE: Exmouth woman stabbed partner to death in Christmas row, court hears

Miss Anna Vigars, QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Mr Johnson was not being violent at the time of the killing and there was no reason for the attack.

The jury was played Hoskin's 999 call and a series of videos taken on CCTV or police body cams after her arrest.

Her call said: "I have stabbed him three times around the heart area. I’m not going to talk any more. I’m staying with him."

Bodycam from the first officers at the scene showed her leaning over Mr Johnson and trying hysterically to revive him. 

She was removed by police when they saw the knife on the floor and realised she was a suspect.

She was recorded saying, 'I f***ing stabbed him'. 

She kept asking if he was alive and said he had attacked her first. She kicked out at officers in custody and accused the police of killing Mr Johnson when she was told he had died.

Later, she refused to believe he was dead but calmed down and in later clips was recorded saying 'I just want to die'; 'I took his life, lock me up and throw away the f***ing key'; 'Can I just go guilty?'.

Hoskin’s sister Mrs Hutchings said she had called or messaged her earlier in the day with images of the gin bottle and her two dogs in fancy dress outfits.

She sent a WhatsApp message later in the evening saying, 'I'm on my last nerves, I’m freaking out, my brain is hurting'.

They two women were in the middle of a voice call when the stabbing took place and Mrs Hutchings rang off and dialled 999 because she realised something terrible had happened.

In a video recording made by police the next day, she told the jury: "I heard Nigel’s voice but could not hear what he was saying. He wasn’t shouting. Whatever he had said or done wound her up and she was shouting.

"Then I herd the clinking of metal. I don’t know why but I thought it was a knife on a worktop. I recognised the sound. She was telling him to shut up. It must have happened then.

"I could hear the atmosphere change and I knew something had happened. He went 'oh, I’m bleeding, oh, there’s blood', almost as if it was a casual throwaway thing.

"She said, 'Oh'. He said, 'it will be all right, it’s all right'. He was really calm.

"She said, 'Oh, I’m sorry, oh my God, oh sh*t'. 

"I could hear him mumbling something like. 'It’s all right, I don’t blame you'. I heard her starting to freak out.

"She said, 'Open your eyes, count with me, come on, stay with me, Nigel, open your eyes'."

The trial continues.