Dawn Lewis, 54, was convicted of murdering her lodger Glenn Richards, 61, at her home in Glastonbury, Somerset, in April. The court heard Mr Richards had killed his wife in front of their two young sons in 2001.
Lewis claimed she feared for her life after being confronted by Richards and used a knife to prevent him from attacking her further. The jury rejected her claim that she was only defending herself.
After being confronted by Richards, Lewis claimed to have feared for her life during a “struggle” with a knife. She stated that as she fought back, he tried to kill her but instead tumbled down the stairs. Lewis claimed that she was now free to wield the blade to defend herself from Richards and stop him from continuing his assault.
When she carried out the deadly stabbing on April 18, the jury rejected her argument that she was just acting in self-defence. The doctor who treated her leg wounds reportedly said they appeared to be “self-inflicted,” which led detectives to become sceptical of her story throughout the three-week trial, the court was informed.
The son of Glenn Richards, who had served time previously for killing his mother, told the court he had spent years building up to the meeting with his father, but that the opportunity to say the impact it had on his growing up was taken away by Dawn Lewis.
Officers were informed, by an associate of Lewis, that Lewis had indicated to him her demand for Richards to leave her home. Just hours prior to the incident, she had spoken to him on video about attacking Richards in his bedroom before stabbing herself as well, so she could claim self-defense.
She had also shown him a knife during that call. Jamie Richards, the victim’s son, made a sobbing victim impact statement prior to sentencing, describing how it brought back terrible memories of what he saw as a child. Jamie Richards, who was about to meet his father for the first time since seeing his mother’s brutal death when he was 11 years old, told the court that he was “robbed of a chance at closure”.
The court heard Mr Richards and the landlady would often argue, and she would complain about her noise. Mr Richards was jailed for life for stabbing his wife to death. The judge said that the landlady tried to paint Mr. Richards as an imminent danger to her, but her actions were attributed to anger rather than terror.
He said that contrary to what she had claimed, she had grown “increasingly intolerant” of him rather than being afraid of him. “
The judge claimed she gave colour to the events, saying her acts were attributed to rage rather than panic recognising that she’d forced entry, armed herself with a knife, walked upstairs, and stabbed him repeatedly. He said it t was a vicious assault and to give the impression that she wasn’t the aggressor, she then inflicted little incise cuts on your thighs but added that Mr Richard’s injuries were more severe than hers, which he said was evident.