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Woman jailed for stabbing victim to death over £10 debt

Siobhan Russell killed Marie Low on Ballantrae Terrace in Dundee after earlier row.

Fight: Siobhan Russell, left, and Marie Low.
Fight: Siobhan Russell, left, and Marie Low.

A woman who stabbed a grandmother-to-be to death in front of her pregnant daughter over a £10 debt has been jailed.

Siobhan Russell, 31, has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for knifing Marie Low, 36, on Ballantrae Terrace in Dundee following an argument between the pair two days earlier.

Officers were called to Ms Low's home after a fight between the pair.

One witness told the court the pair had brawled over a £10 debt.

Ms Low suffered a single stab wound to the heart and later died at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

A knife was later found under the kitchen sink in Russell's home with the accused's DNA on the handle and Ms Low's on the blade.

Russell had faced a murder charge but a jury convicted her of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

The jury rejected the 31-year-old's plea that she acted in self-defence and found she was not provoked into assaulting the other woman.

Lord Burns told her that whatever the reason for Ms Low and her daughter coming to her house on that afternoon "there was no justification for you coming out to confront her, far less armed with a knife".

The judge said: "It was an unprovoked attack with a knife."

Lord Burns said he accepted the assault was out of character for Russell and he could take account of her history of depression and drug dependency.

'It was an unprovoked attack with a knife.'
Lord Burns

He also accepted Russell had shown remorse following the offence and she had not sought out her victim on that particular occasion.

Lord Burns added: "Nevertheless, the taking of a life by the use of a weapon such as a knife is a very serious matter."

The trial heard from Ms Low's then-pregnant daughter, Jamie-Lee Low, who broke down in tears while giving evidence.

She told jurors: "Siobhan came out and she had a knife in her hand - she was shouting and screaming. I tried to get in the middle and told Siobhan to stop because I was pregnant.

"They were fighting and I was screaming for help. I watched her stab my mum. I watched her stab the knife in to my mum's chest or belly area."

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