Caerphilly woman who stabbed her mother’s friend in the heart jailed for life
A woman who stabbed her mother’s best friend in the heart with a kitchen knife after a night out has been jailed for life.
Rebecca Press, 31, from Caerphilly, was high on drugs and alcohol when she knifed 57-year-old Marc Ash in her mother’s flat in July last year.
Mr Ash had been trying to calm Press down when she grabbed the three-inch blade and attacked him.
She then burst into her mother Michelle Press’s bedroom and told her “I have stabbed your f****** best friend”, before fleeing the scene.
While hiding in an overgrown area a short distance from the property she left a disturbing voicemail for her ex-boyfriend Ashley Allan, in which she said: “Ash it’s really bad. It’s really f****** bad. I’ve just stabbed someone and killed them.
“I’ve just murdered someone, please phone me now. F*** (screams). I’ve just murdered someone.”
Press had been staying the night at her mother’s house after breaking up with her boyfriend whom she suspected of cheating on her.
She had spent the day drinking in the garden with her mother’s friends and neighbours and later went out with Mr Ash to the New Tredegar Rugby Club and nearby pub the Dynevor Arms.
Press became aggressive in the pub and claimed Mr Ash had locked her in the female toilets.
Back in the flat an argument flared between the Press and her brother Gavin Press during which she headbutted her mother in the nose.
It was during this time that Mr Ash rang 999 and told call handlers it was “all kicking off”.
Minutes later when officers arrived, Mr Ash had already been stabbed and despite attempts to save him was confirmed dead at 2am.
Press was eventually arrested and feigned surprise at being handcuffed, asking: “Have I murdered someone?”
A health care professional who examined Press at the police station said she was shocked at how “oddly calm and jovial” she was.
A urine sample was taken from her and substances including alcohol, benzodiazepines, MDMA – also known as ecstasy – and traces of THC a chemical found in cannabis were found in her system.
She initially denied murder claiming she acted in self defence but she changed her plea to guilty during her trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
In a statement written by Mr Ash’s parents and read to the court they said: “Marc’s life was tragically taken from him. His family and friends are devastated by his shocking demise.
“He was a gentle soul, unassuming in his demeanour, a gentleman.
“To simply say he will be sadly missed is an understatement but we have indeed been blessed to have him.”
“Tragic and senseless”
Mr Ash’s child said: “My father was intelligent, kind, gentle and funny with an in-depth knowledge of music and other subjects which he introduced me to.
“I hope to study law as a career and my father will never see me go to university, graduate, or start a family.
“He didn’t see me reach my 18th birthday, pass my driving test or exams of which I know he would be proud.
“All these opportunities I have been denied and will have to live with the fact that I no longer have a father for the rest of my life.”
Detective Superintendent Michelle Chaplin described the murder as a “tragic and senseless” incident.
Press will spend a minimum of 20 years in prison.
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