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Woman guilty of manslaughter after partner’s death

Hayley Keating

A woman who killed her partner with a knife at their home in Somerset has been jailed.

Hayley Keating, 32, has been found guilty of manslaughter following the death of Matthew Wormleighton in May last year. She was jailed for six years at Bristol Crown Court today (Friday 29 July).

Emergency services were called to their home in Forts Orchard, Chilthorne Domer, at 4.37am on Friday 14 May 2021 by Keating, where she made admissions, including saying she had been responsible for ‘stabbing’ Mr Wormleighton and he was dying. Later within the 999 call to the ambulance service, she claimed she had thrown a knife at him because she was angry.

The court was told the pair had been arguing in the run up to Mr Wormleighton’s death and Keating had followed him through the house before the incident occurred. 

Mr Wormleighton, 45, was found critically injured with a 10cm single stab wound by paramedics who took him to hospital where he died later the same day.

Keating was found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter yesterday (Thursday 28 July).

In sentencing Judge William Hart said Keating intended to inflict grievous bodily harm to Mr Wormleighton but did not seek to kill her partner.

Keating was not under immediate threat at the time of the incident and, after fetching a knife from the kitchen, in a momentary loss of control stabbed Mr Wormleighton in anger as he tried to leave, the judge added.

Judge Hart acknowledged the relationship between Keating and the victim was ‘toxic’.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Almond said: “Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Matthew Wormleighton’s family who continue to endure the tragic loss of a family man who was clearly hugely loved.

“They have shown incredible courage throughout the police investigation and this trial and I thank them for their support.

“Jurors found Hayley Keating’s actions last May caused the fatal injuries that led to Mr Wormleighton’s death and she rightly now faces a considerable amount of time in prison for what she has done.

“This case highlights once again the devastating consequences that can be caused through violence involving knives.”