A woman who was compared to a character from horror movie The Shining was jailed for life today for stabbing her long suffering boyfriend to death during a series of psychotic rages.
Builder’s labourer Clare McMahon, 35, used two blades to knife John Robinson up to 30 times after he had earlier likened her mood swings to Jack Nicholson’s crazed character in the 1980 film’s iconic ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene.
Mr Robinson, 37, who had been asleep in bed suffered fatal wounds to his neck, navel and back when he woke up and then began struggling with McMahon on the balcony of their second floor apartment in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester.
He died at the scene with tests showing he sustained three wounds to the back including one deep 12 cm deep wound which severed an artery and a wound to his throat which cut his windpipe in two.
Labourer Clare McMahon (left) stabbed John Robinson (right) in the neck, navel and back during a fight on the balcony of their apartment
A police officer stands guard outside a block of flats in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, after the murder in May
After the killing McMahon rang her boss in tears say: ‘I just couldn’t stop myself – I stabbed him all over’ and falsely said the victim had come at her with a knife and stabbed her in the hand before she grabbed the weapon from him.
But police inquiries revealed she had been terrorising and tormenting Mr Robinson during their five year relationship and he referred to her as ‘that mad bitch’ when talking to his family.
McMahon was convicted of murder after a two week trial and was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years
The victim’s sister told police her brother was seen with scratches on her neck and he told her he was ‘frightened and petrified’ of McMahon.
During violent rages, McMahon had also smashed a coffee table by throwing it at a wall, had hurled a Christmas tree at Mr Robinson and held a knife to his throat.
She had also banged his head so hard against the wall, Mr Robinson told friends his ordeal was like the ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene from The Shining in which author Jack Torrance played by Nicholson takes an axe to a bathroom door in a bid to kill his wife Wendy.
McMahon herself had even handed a knife to a neighbour in a carrier bag for ‘safe keeping’ – to stop herself from attacking Mr Robinson.
At Manchester Crown Court, McMahon was convicted of murder after a two week trial and was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years.
She admitted killing Robinson but denied murder claiming she suffered a form of ‘complex post-traumatic stress disorder’ due to her being in a ‘violent abusive relationship.’
The jury heard the couple had been in a relationship since 2014 but would argue with one neighbours saying they were ‘having words with each other’ once a month.
The tragedy occurred on May 23 this year after McMahon had been dropped off at home by her boss Daniel McManus who was an ex-boyfriend as well as her employer.
Clare McMahon, 35, used two blades to knife John Robinson up to 30 times after he had earlier likened her mood swings to Jack Nicholson’s crazed character in the 1980 film’s iconic ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene (pictured)
John Robinson, pictured, was later found unresponsive on the second floor balcony of his home in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester
Francis McEntee prosecuting said: ‘Mr McManus has known her for approximately 15 years, they had been in a relationship for a couple of years and have remained friends ever since. She had worked for him that day and he took her home at 4pm. She had seemed fine that day, laughing and joking as usual and she didn’t mention anything was troubling her.
‘But he said when he received the call from her just after midnight she sounded hysterical. She was saying something like ‘I think I’ve killed him, I’ve stabbed him to death’. She told him she was covered in blood and when he got her to calm down a little, she said that Mr Robinson had stabbed her in the hand and she had taken the knife from him.
‘She went on to say ‘I’ve stabbed him, I just couldn’t stop myself’. When asked about where she had stabbed him, she told Mr McManus that she has ‘stabbed him all over.’ ‘
Mr McManus arranged to collect the defendant and will confirm, that when he collected her she seemed very stressed. He persuaded her that she should return to the address and tell the police what had happened.
At Manchester Crown Court, McMahon, pictured left, and in her police mugshot, right, admitted killing Robinson but denied murder claiming she suffered a form of ‘complex post-traumatic stress disorder’ due to her being in a ‘violent abusive relationship’
‘He was the first to find Mr Robinson’s body and he could see there was blood in the bed and a bit sprayed up the wall and on the door. He also saw a large silver knife on the bed, which he estimated to be 10 inches long, and a second knife that was black and was about six inches long.
‘He could see Mr Robinson lying on the floor of the balcony on his back and tried to shake him to see if he could get a response – but he could not.’
Earlier neighbours heard the couple arguing with Lisa Hayes witnessing the fatal struggle between them on the balcony of their flat.
Miss Hayes saw Robinson pressing McMahon against the railing, and called out to her to ask if she was ok but got no reply and subsequently saw Robinson standing near the balcony door and making a ‘gasping noise.’
Another neighbour Simon Hilton heard the argument coming from the balcony and saw the pair struggling. Mr McEntee said: ‘He saw Mr Robinson and his girlfriend get up off the balcony floor and saw the girlfriend got up to her feet slightly quicker than Mr Robinson – although he wasn’t far behind her.
‘Mr Hilton did not see any blood on either of them and possibly because he saw the defendant first, he asked her: ‘what’s he done now?’ She replied ‘I’ve stabbed him, Si.’ and he then realised both Mr Robinson and his girlfriend were covered in blood.’
McMahon herself 999 and when the ambulance call handler asked ‘is the patient breathing?’ She replied: ‘No, I stabbed him, I need the police, I need everything, he’s attacked me as well’. She added: ‘I don’t know, I can’t get near him, I think he’s lost a lot of blood’. The handler said: ‘I need to know if he is breathing?’ and McMahon added: ‘just a little bit, no I think he’s gone’. The call was then disconnected.
McMahon was later arrested whilst she was sat in Mr McManus’ van and a knife was found on a concrete path below the balcony.
The prosecutor said: ‘Clare McMahon told Daniel McManus that John Robinson had stabbed her in the hand before she had taken the knife and stabbed him.. She stated that she picked up the knife after John Robinson had dropped it and she told the police she could only remember that she lunged at him once with the knife.
‘The defendant had sustained a significant injury to her fingers on her right hand and superficial cuts to her left hand. However those injuries pale into significance in comparison to the 30 knife inflicted injuries sustained by John Robinson.
‘The evidence paints a picture of a fully extensive assault and we suggest she was using more than one knife. The assault commenced in the bedroom and she selected a further weapon from the kitchen after which she repeated the attack which was finalised on the balcony.
‘She contends that she had lost control and that her loss of control was due to the fear of serious violence from John Robinson.But we say that, having inflicted a life ending injury to Mr Robinson’s throat, the defendant chose to select a further weapon to continue to deliver further devastating stab wounds. It was a sustained and determined attack.’