A BATTERED wife has walked free from court an innocent woman after being cleared of killing her husband at their South Yorkshire home.
School dinner lady Tracey White was found not guilty of both murder and manslaughter after a 10-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
Jurors heard she plunged a kitchen knife into husband Alan’s stomach after he attacked her in a row over the TV.
The 42-year-old burst into tears and had to be helped from the dock as the jury returned its verdicts.
Relatives hugged one another and cheered in the public gallery.
Mrs White left court without comment, but her father said outside: “It’s an excellent verdict.” Another family member shouted ‘yes’, adding: “I’m so happy.”
Mrs White told the court her 49-year-old husband attacked her at their home in Bond Street, Rossington, Doncaster.
The couple, who have a son and a daughter, had already argued once in the evening after he felt ‘overfaced’ when she served him two pieces of meat on his plate at dinner time.
When she later switched off the bedroom TV, believing her husband to be asleep, he shot upright in bed and said, ‘I was watching that’.
Mrs White said her husband, who had one leg, started punching her to the head. When she retreated downstairs he clipped on his false leg and followed her to the kitchen where he continued his assault.
She said she thought she was going to die. Pinned against a breakfast bar, she reached behind her for something from a drawer - and plunged a knife into her husband’s abdomen.
She told jurors she had kept secret years of domestic violence, and had only wanted to grab something to ‘distract’ her husband and ‘make him stop’.
She said: “I didn’t know what I had got in my hand, I never took my eyes off Alan.”
She dialled 999 as he collapsed beside the sink. He died later in hospital, a week before Christmas.
Police had previously been called to their home in 2005, and in 2006 when Mrs White told the court her husband had tried to strangle her. Both were said to have ‘short fuses’ especially after a drink.
When asked how she felt about her husband’s death, she told the court: “Mortified. I miss him so much.”
Detective Inspector Vicky Short, senior investigating officer in the case, said: “I respect the outcome reached by the jury.
“This has been a difficult investigation for all involved and I would like to thank everyone for helping to bring the case to court.
“This has been a very upsetting time for all the family. We will continue to support the family wherever we can.”