‘Look what you made me do’

Dawn Backhouse - murder victim from Walkley
Dawn Backhouse - murder victim from Walkley

A JEALOUS lover knifed a mum-of-three through the heart at her Sheffield home to stop her leaving the city and starting a new relationship, a court heard.

Dawn Backhouse, aged 31, was allegedly stabbed with a chef’s knife in the kitchen of her home in Langsett Grove, Walkley, by 45-year-old Mark Hatter.

Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court heard Dawn was left pleading for her life.

A neighbour claimed Hatter said: “Look at what you made me do.”

Police found Hatter sitting on the floor with his arms around Dawn.

The blade had been thrust into her chest, piercing a lung and penetrating her heart.

Richard Mansell QC, prosecuting, said Dawn had moved to Sheffield from Maidstone, Kent, in 2008, with third husband, Andrew Backhouse.

Around the time the marriage broke down, Dawn began a sexual relationship with Hatter, of Hammerton Road, Hillsborough.

Jurors heard Dawn told her cousin Hatter wasn’t a serious boyfriend, and she had begun a relationship with a man from her home town, David Brunger.

Fiona Spencer, Dawn’s neighbour, said she heard arguing in the week before the killing.

Mr Mansell said: “She heard the defendant say ‘But I love you - I love you and I’m not letting you go’.”

At around 10pm on June 27 Hatter went to The Queen’s Ground pub in Hillsborough and exchanged texts with Dawn throughout the evening, but became ‘increasingly frustrated’ when she failed to reply or call him back.

One text read: ‘This silence is killing me.’

Mr Mansell said Hatter left the pub and after arriving home took a knife from his kitchen, then walked to Langsett Grove and climbed in through Dawn’s first floor bedroom window.

Ms Spencer said she heard another argument which lasted for around 10 minutes.

“She heard the deceased screech out and repeatedly say ‘No’,” Mr Mansell said. Other neighbours were woken by the sound of a man shouting ‘Die, die’.

The court heard Dawn’s daughters, aged 10 and three, were asleep upstairs.

When Ms Spencer went round to see if Dawn was alright, Dawn told her: ‘He’s stabbed me. I don’t want to die Fiona, I can’t breathe.’

In a prepared statement, Hatter told police Dawn had stabbed herself in the arm with a knife from her kitchen table.

He claimed the fatal injury was caused accidentally when he tried to wrestle the blade from her.

Hatter said Dawn told him: ‘I think I’m dying. Come with me, don’t let me die on my own’, before he plunged the knife into his own chest.

Mr Mansell said: “He was plainly jealous and unable to accept she no longer wanted to be with him, and he either could not or would not let her go.”

Hatter was prescribed medication for depression and suicidal thoughts a week before the killing, jurors heard.

The trial continues.