Man accused of murdering partner says he stabbed her in the eye ‘by accident’

Mum stabbed to death
Former air stewardess Michaela Hall got upset over her partner’s refusal to eat his meal (Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police/Google)

A man accused of killing his partner in an argument over a sweet and sour dinner claims he accidentally stabbed her in the eye during a scuffle.

Lee Kendall rowed with Michaela Hall when she got upset over his refusal to eat the meal, a court heard.

The former Virgin Airways air stewardess had met Kendall when she worked for a charity which helps prisoners after they are freed from custody.

But Truro Crown Court heard she broke professional boundaries as his support worker and began an intimate relationship before he moved into her home in Mount Hawke, Cornwall.

After rowing over a dinner that ‘he didn’t want,’ the mum-of-two was stabbed to death in her eye in the bedroom on May 31 last year.

Taking to the witness stand, Kendal, 42, admitted stabbing her but denied murder and claimed it was not intentional.

He said: ‘As we were struggling my hand is jerked away from her at the same time she is coming towards me and it ended up going in her eye.’

After removing the blade, he said he asked her if she was OK before putting the knife in the kitchen sink and heading out to carry on drinking.

Asked why he didn’t call the ambulance, he said it was because he thought she’d ‘be fine’.

Michaela was found dead in bed by her father the next day.

Kendall told the court he and Michaela had been arguing over the sweet and sour food that she had prepared for both of them and she got upset with him when he told her he didn’t want to eat it.

‘I wasn’t ready to eat it yet and I said I’d put it in the microwave,’ he said.

Michaela Hall. See SWNS story SWPLsour. A man accused of murdering has claimed he accidentally stabbed her in the eye - in a row over a sweet and sour dinner. Lee Kendall, 43, said he did not intend to sman accused of murdering Mount Hawke mother Michaela Hall has admitted stabbing her in the eye but claims it was an accident after an argument about a sweet and sour dinner. Lee Kendall, 43, is on trial at Truro Crown Court charged with the murder of 49-year-old Ms Hall at her home in Charlotte Close, Mount Hawke home on May 31 last year, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Michaela Hall was stabbed to death in her eye on May 31st last year (Picture: Cornwall Police / SWNS)

‘She wanted me to eat with her. I put it on the floor.’

He said she put the meal in the bin and the row continued into the bedroom where he heard her talking on the phone to someone.

He claimed he felt hurt and angry about the call because it sounded like she was ‘slagging me off’.

He said he forcefully took the phone from her and threw it across the room before they both started fighting each other.

He said: ‘I grabbed her around the throat as she was kicking me and I took the phone.’

Kendall said Michaela managed to grab hold of a cutlery knife that was in the room as it had been used as a screwdriver for some DIY.

He told jurors: ‘We were both being horrible to each other.

‘(I was) telling her to: “F**k off. Leave me alone. What’s wrong with you?”.’

‘She was being the same towards me. She was screaming at me. She thrust the knife into my chest once.’

He said he took the knife off her by grabbing hold of the blade with his left hand while she held onto him.

Giving evidence, Michaela’s friend Clair Basnett told how just before her death she heard screams like ‘something out of a horror movie’ during the attack.

She said that at 10pm on the evening of the fight, she had a phone call from Michaela which she ignored but then there was then a second call at 10.10pm.

‘I answered the call and Michaela was whispering,’ she told the jury.

‘I asked her why she was whispering. The reason I asked was because she hadn’t been honest with me at that point about Lee being back in the house, which is the reason why I was cross with her.

‘When I asked why she was whispering she replied “Lee is on one. I really don’t know what to do”.’

‘At which point I asked her if she was able to get out of the house. She said Lee had locked all the doors and had the keys.’

Michaela then stated she needed to send her friend photographs of what he had done to her neck in the past few days ‘in case anything happened to her’.

Ms Basnett said: ‘She asked me to call the police but she said to me “Don’t call them straight away because I could be in grave danger if you do so”.

‘I then heard Lee enter the room. She started telling him to stay away from her. I could hear his voice. Michaela was screaming by this time telling Lee to get off her and keep back.

‘The noise was horrific, you could hear him hitting her. I could hear her screaming, him shouting. Really really hard to explain noises but literally sounded like something off a horror film.’

She described how she’d seen Kendall assaulting Michaela on two previous occasions. Towards end of October 2020 she said she moved to Gran Canaria to live but kept in touch with Michaela via social media and calls.

The jury also watched a video of the police interview with Michaela’s father describing how he and his wife became so concerned about not hearing from her that they went to the house and called the police when they couldn’t get in.

Her father went to the landlord’s house and got the keys.

He went upstairs and found Michaela lying on the bed, where there was blood on the pillow and the body was cold. After that emergency services attended.

Kendall denies murder. The trial at Truro crown court continues.

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