Jessica Breeze cleared of father’s murder after ‘years of violence’

A woman who stabbed her “controlling” father in the back after suffering years of violence has been found not guilty of his murder.

Jessica Breeze, 20, had denied murdering Colin Brady, 49, in Keith Road, Middlesbrough, in June.

Miss Breeze told Teesside Crown Court he had left her with regular injuries as a teenager.

After going out on Friday to consider a verdict, a jury cleared her of both murder and manslaughter.

In evidence, nursery worker Miss Breeze had described her father as “controlling” and recalled he would “kick off” and “smash the place up” if she returned home late.

Asked by her barrister, Simon Russell Flint QC, if she ever reported her father’s violent outbursts she replied: “No.”

“I was scared,” she said. “I thought it was pointless.”

Mr Brady had previous convictions for violence, including causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He had attacked Miss Breeze’s mother, Kelly Breeze, in an assault a police constable said was the worst he had seen.

Colin Brady was stabbed during a violent row at the family’s home in Middlesbrough last summer

The prosecution had claimed an argument broke out after Miss Breeze’s parents discovered she had been secretly seeing her boyfriend when she said she had been at work.

During the row Mr Brady slapped or punched his then 19-year-old daughter several times, before her mother intervened, the court heard.

“He was punching me in the face with his fists,” Miss Breeze told the jury. “He said he was going to kill us.”

She was one digit away from dialling 999 when he demanded she hand over her phone, the court heard.

‘Self defence’

The front door had been locked and Miss Breeze had tried to escape by jumping from a bedroom window.

But, before she could reach it, her father caught her and started to strangle her on the bed, she told jurors.

She told the court she had “no memory of picking up the knife”.

Outside court, Miss Breeze’s solicitor Sean Grainger said in a statement: “The jury accepted she was acting in lawful self-defence of herself and her mother when under a sustained and violent attack by her father.

“Further, whilst Jessica was brought up in a highly toxic home environment where she and her mother were regularly subject to extreme physical and emotional abuse by her father, Jessica wishes to make it clear she loved her father, she still does and wishes he was still here.

“She now wishes to rebuild her life, get back to work and move on from the seven-month ordeal she has endured since her arrest.”

BBC

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