Love triangle killer Karla Biddle has been jailed for seven years for the manslaughter of her rival who she stabbed to death at the home of their two-timing boyfriend.
After a total of more than 17 hours over four days at the end of Biddle’s trial, a jury at Warwick Crown Court found her not guilty of murdering 30-year-old Miss Bradshaw.
But by a majority of ten to two the jury found her guilty of an alternative offence of manslaughter.
The jury foreman indicated they had reached their conclusion on that charge on the basis that Biddle had been acting under provocation from Miss Bradshaw.
Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said that meant Biddle had to be sentenced on the basis that she did not take the knife with her when she went to Ashley Watson’s home, but that Miss Bradshaw had produced it in the hallway.
Biddle, aged 32, of Aldbury Road, Yardley Wood, had denied murdering Miss Bradshaw, of Clarence Road, Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield, during the incident on May 14 last year.
Biddle’s boyfriend, Ashley Watson, was also in a relationship with Miss Bradshaw, and early that morning, the day she considered their anniversary, Biddle went to his home in Berkeley Road, Solihull, where Emma had spent the night.
Prosecuting, Mark Wall QC, alleged she went in armed with a kitchen knife and stabbed Emma twice in the abdomen.
A struggle between them then carried on in the street, before Biddle left and Miss Bradshaw went to a nearby house and then back to the road where she collapsed, and died shortly after being rushed to hospital.
However, Biddle said she had gone to ask Miss Bradshaw if anything was going on between her and Ashley, and that Miss Bradshaw came towards her in the hallway with the knife.
After the verdict, Rhona Campbell, prosecuting, read a statement from Miss Bradshaw’s brother-in-law Andrew Staples, who described her as a lively young woman who led a life ‘full of exciting, adventurous things.’
Sentencing Biddle, Judge Griffith-Jones said: “Karla Biddle had been ground down emotionally by the uncertainty and the twists and turns in the relationship, but the provocation is not the behaviour of the man concerned but the provocation which flows from Emma, who was quite entitled to engage in the relationship.
“This case is an absolute tragedy in which there are no winners, only losers. Your uncertainty and curiosity and determination to give yourself peace of mind resulted in you visiting Emma.
“Being faithful to the jury’s verdict I do not sentence you on the basis that you took the knife to the scene.
“The only fair way to sentence you is to conclude that Emma Bradshaw, equally emotionally involved with the man concerned, produced the knife, wanting you to go away and not wanting to engage in your persistent efforts to talk about the relationships.
“The production of the knife and the aggression that is consequent upon it provoked you to suddenly lose your self-control.
“You must have gained possession of the knife and, having lost your self-control, then used the knife a large number of times.
“I cannot ignore the severity and number of defensive injuries evident on Emma’s hands.
“There were two blows with at least moderate force to her abdomen, which killed her.”
But Judge Griffith-Jones had pointed out that even if Biddle had stayed and called the emergency services, Miss Bradshaw’s life would still have not been saved.
After the case, Det Sgt Tony Mitcham read out a statement on behalf of Miss Bradshaw’s devastated family.
Det Sgt Mitcham said: “We accept the court’s decision, seeking no retribution nor revenge which would interfere with the blessings that we have had during the life of our wonderful daughter.”