A dad-of-four clung to his killer girlfriend and told her "I love you" before collapsing and dying, it has been revealed.
Craig Morse punched her and tried to get a kitchen knife off his partner, Tonia, Crabtree, in a bid to stop her from self-harming during a violent, drunken row, Derby Crown Court heard.
During the struggle, as she held the blade, the weapon plunged through his chest and fatally stabbed in in the heart.
Mr Morse, 33, held onto her and uttered his tragic law words, fell to the floor of her flat in Langley Mill, Derbyshire, and died, reports DerbyshireLive.
Crabtree, 29, of Frost Avenue, has been jailed for four years and nine months after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of her boyfriend.
The court heard how their relationship was 'toxic'.
Judge Nirmal Shant QC, Honorary Recorder of Derby, said while sentencing Crabtree: "Mr Morse's death has unsurprisingly had a huge impact on the lives of those who loved him.
“Nothing I can do to you today will diminish the grief they have suffered and will continue to suffer.
“Sadly, even in his dying moments it is clear you loved him and he loved you.
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“But it was a toxic relationship.”
Crabtree moved to Derbyshire from Stoke-on-Trent and Mr Morse, who is also from the Potteries Town, was staying at her flat in Langley Mill when the incident happened shortly before 2am on April 3, Prosecutor Adrian Langdale QC said.
Her brother and his partner had been forced to stay with them due to the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Langdale added.
He told the court the defendant and the victim had been drinking heavily and had been arguing in the lead up to the killing.
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She received a black eye and also slapped and punched Mr Morse.
Crabtree and the victim were in the kitchen, Mr Langdale said, when she removed a blade from a knife block and a struggle followed as he tried to get it from her as she has a history of cutting herself.
He said: “Craig Morse was stabbed to the left side of the chest in a front-to-back direction.
“The knife went into the chest and the main right heart ventricle.
“It was 9cm long and that is almost the entire length of the blade.”
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Mr Morse staggered out of the kitchen and into the main bedroom where Crabtree's brother, Daniel and his partner, were sleeping.
Mr Langdale read Mr Crabtree's account he told the police: “Craig was screaming and came into the bedroom saying ‘she’s stabbed me, she’s stabbed me, I should not have done it’ meaning hit her.
“He struggled back, raised his arms and pulled her in as if to cuddle her.
“He told her he loved her, his body went limp and he collapsed in the hallway.”
The court heart how police and paramedics arrived while Mr Crabtree tried to perform CPR on Mr Morse but he was declared dead at the scene.
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His cause of death was given as a single stab wound to the heart.
The prosecution estimate, through evidence later collected, that Crabtree would have been three times the legal drink-drive limit at the time of the attack.
Dilwyn Morse's, the victim's father, impact statement was read to the judge.
He said: “I feel like my heart and very soul has been ripped out and this violent act has killed us all in a way.
“Tonia, you broke God’s first commandment and you will have to face him one day.
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“God shall forgive you, but I never will.”
His former partner, Danielle Collins, said in her statement how his children have been profoundly affected by their dad's death. Classmates at one son's school have cruelly taunted him that he has no father.
She told how the family has been left "cold and angry" about him being taken from then at the young age of 33.
Mitigating, Clive Stockwell QC, said Crabtree has self-harmed since she was a teen after being abused as a child.
She had been in and out of violent relationships and had moved from Stoke to get away from Mr Morse but their relationship rekindled, he said.
Mr Stockwell told the court: “At no point did Tonia Crabtree intend to cause any injury to Craig Morse.
“She was not looking to hurt him, she was not looking to cause him any physical injury because she loved him and he loved her.
“She held him while he was suffering. 'I am sorry, I am sorry, I love you' were her first words.
"She jabbed out that night to ward off Craig Morse to prevent him from stopping her from achieving what she wanted to achieve and that is cutting herself which, over the years, has given her temporary release.
“This was in the heat of the moment and was one motion and regretted immediately.”
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