Woman who stabbed man in heart told ex-partner ‘I’ve murdered someone’
A woman who stabbed her mother’s neighbour in the heart with a kitchen knife called her former boyfriend and told him “I’ve just murdered someone”, a court was told.
Rebecca Louise Press, 31, from Caerphilly, is accused of killing 57-year-old Richard Marc Ash at a house in New Tredegar in July last year.
She is also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm against her mother Michelle Press, who she headbutted just minutes before fatally stabbing the victim.
During the opening of her trial, Cardiff Crown Court was told Press was high on drugs and alcohol when she attacked Mr Ash.
Press admits to stabbing Mr Ash and assaulting her mother but denies the charges against her claiming her actions were in self-defence.
Jonathan Rees KC, prosecuting, told the jury on Monday: “Just after 1.15am on Sunday, July 17, 2022, the defendant Rebecca Press left her ex-boyfriend Ashley Allen a voicemail message.
“In it 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 back’.
“Indeed, the prosecution says minutes earlier Rebecca Press had picked up a knife and stabbed Richard Marc Ash with it just above his heart.
“Mr Ash, known as Marc, was unarmed,” Mr Rees added.
“The full depth of the stab wound almost exactly matched the full length of the blade up to the handle – some 7.5cm – and had plunged into Mr Ash’s chest and pierced what’s called the aortic arch.”
Mr Rees said the injury led Mr Ash to suffer a cardiac arrest from loss of blood and die.
Mr Ash was described as the “best friend” of Ms Press, the defendant’s mother, and he had spent most of July 16 with the two women and a number of other neighbours drinking and watching rugby in Ms Press’s garden.
Later that evening the defendant said she wanted to go to the pub and Mr Ash said he would accompany her.
Press became aggressive in the pub claiming Mr Ash had locked her in the female toilets and when he left to walk back to her mother’s house she followed.
Once back at the house the prosecution say an argument flared between the defendant and her brother Gavin Press during which she headbutted her mother, causing her an injury to her nose.
Ms Press rang the police from her bedroom and shortly afterwards Mr Ash also rang 999.
When officers arrived at the property just minutes later, Mr Ash had already been stabbed and Ms Press was on the phone to the ambulance service.
Mr Rees said: “Throughout that time, the defendant, who was drinking and had taken drugs, was behaving more and more erratically, eventually headbutting her mother to the nose causing a cut.
“When Marc Ash tried to calm the defendant down he paid the price with his life,” he said.
In the call to police, which was played to the jury, Mr Ash said: “It’s all kicking off here at the moment.
“I’m in my neighbour’s house.
“There are two people who are not wanted in here and they have assaulted people.”
After stabbing Mr Ash, Press is said to have burst into her mother’s bedroom and told her: “I’ve f****** stabbed your best friend.”
Police officers, paramedics and a doctor with the Welsh Air Ambulance service tried to save Mr Ash but his death was confirmed at around 2am.
Meanwhile, Press had fled the house and was hiding in an overgrown area a short distance away.
She called her ex-boyfriend’s mother and told her she had killed someone.
Despite this, when she was eventually spotted by police and arrested on suspicion of murder she “feigned surprise”, asking officers: “Have I murdered someone?”
A health care professional who examined Press at the police station commented how she was shocked at how “oddly calm and jovial” she was.
The next day tests revealed Press had benzodiazepines in her system as well as MDMA, also known as ecstasy, and traces of THC a chemical found in cannabis.
She gave a prepared statement to detectives, which was read to the court and claimed Mr Ash had become “aggressive” towards her despite normally being a “chilled and mellow character”.
She said: “I picked up the closest item to me which was the knife and hit him with it.
“I didn’t intend to stab him in the chest but I accept that is what I did.
“I had no intention to kill Mark I was acting in self defence.
“Mark is a six foot plus man and a lot bigger and stronger than me.
“I was genuinely in fear for my safety.”
The trial continues.
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