Woman in 'kill or be killed' situation, says judge

The woman who stabbed her husband at their home in Cork on New Year’s Eve was cleared of manslaughter today amid emotional scenes in court.

The woman who stabbed her husband at their home in Cork on New Year’s Eve was cleared of manslaughter today amid emotional scenes in court.

Judge Con Murphy accepted a legal argument from the defence that Dilorom Sulaymanov (aged 36) was in a "kill or be killed" situation and that a jury would have to conclude on the evidence that she acted in self-defence.

The judge accepted this submission and directed the jury to return a "not guilty" verdict in the case.

Members of the family hugged each other and wept at Cork Circuit Criminal Court as the accused was told she was free to go.

Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, said outside the court afterwards: “This was a terrible tragedy and we are delighted with the outcome. She is hoping she can get on with her life with her two children and her mother. She would like to thank the judge and jury.”

In his successful legal submission at the end of the prosecution case, defence senior counsel, Blaise O’Carroll said: “The scene in the bedroom was 'kill or be killed'. In that context, what happened was not an offence. The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that that does not apply.”

He argued that the evidence did not support the contention that following the violence in the house, there was tranquillity before the fatal incident.

Pearse Sreenan, barrister for the prosecution argued that the accused could have walked out the door of the house downstairs while her husband was upstairs, but that instead she went upstairs to her husband who was sitting down and was not posing a threat at that time.

Judge Murphy held with the defence argument and directed the jury to find her not guilty

The defendant was then cleared on the charge of the manslaughter of her husband, Abduazim Sulaymanov (aged 39) at an address in Pinewood, Ballinlough Road, Cork.

He was stabbed on December 31, 2006 and died seven days later.

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