Girl, three, witnessed alleged murder which saw woman stab partner, court hears

Annie Merrilees, 25, is accused of murdering her 31-year-old partner Dean Williamson. [Picture: PA]

Annie Merrilees, 25, is accused of murdering her 31-year-old partner Dean Williamson. [Picture: PA] - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A three-year-old girl witnessed an alleged murder which saw a woman stab her violent partner with a knife, a court has heard.

Annie Merrilees, 25, said 31-year-old Dean Williamson had stabbed himself when police found him dying at their flat in Glandford Way, Chadwell Heath.

But the child said when leaving the flat: “He had the knife in his belly and it was bleeding. She did it, but it was an accident.”

Merrilees appeared at the Old Bailey today charged with murdering Mr Williamson. An additional count of manslaughter was added yesterday.

The defendant eventually told police she stabbed him, but said she was defending herself.

The incident happened on December 17 2013, when the couple, who had been drinking, were at their flat with friend Katie O’Brien.

Ms O’Brien said they were arguing violently, but that she went to the bathroom and did not witness the incident.

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Prosecutor Peter Finnegan said she saw Mr Williamson “stagger” into the lounge and fall on the couch, holding his chest.

The court heard Merrilees claimed he “stabbed himself” and was “putting it on”.

A helicopter ambulance arrived and paramedics performed open heart surgery on Mr Williamson, but he died the next day.

In a statement to police submitted through her solicitor, Merrilees claimed she was assaulted by Mr Williamson repeatedly during their three-year relationship and that he attacked her on the day of the incident.

She said he forced his way into the flat and she picked up a knife because she was frightened.

She said: “At all times I was in fear that I would be seriously injured by him.

“At no point was it my intention to kill Dean Williamson.”

However, Mr Finnegan said the prosecution case was that Merrilees stabbed her partner “in a temper”.

The trial continues.