Sixth-form Female student 'murdered boyfriend with steak knife' after night out celebrating A-level success
03rd February 2010
A sixth form student stabbed her boyfriend to death after going on a drinking spree to celebrate her A-level results, a court heard yesterday.
Katherine McGrath, 19, allegedly plunged a steak knife into Alyn Thomas's chest after a drunken row on the night of her exam results.
The court heard Katherine and Alyn, 22, downed Malibu, cider, lager and whiskey in a day-long drinking session
McGrath told police she grabbed the knife from the kitchen drawer to 'scare him off' when the pair argued at her large luxury home.
The court heard the teenagers fell out after a woman colleague of supermarket worker Alyn offered to buy him another drink during the night out.
Cardiff Crown Court heard she stabbed Alyn at her £400,000 detached house while her parents were out.
Prosecutor Roger Thomas QC said: 'The wound penetrated Alyn Thomas's heart and he died shortly afterwards.
'There was no justification or excuse for Katherine McGrath taking hold of what was in effect a weapon - the steak knife - and using it to cause his death.'
The court heard McGrath was 'distressed and emotional' during a 999 call in which she admitted stabbing her boyfriend.
McGrath claimed she acted in self-defence after her boyfriend attacked her and bit her thumb.
The court heard she told the emergency operator: 'I did it in self-defence. He's my boyfriend and he came and attacked me and I didn't know what to do.'
McGrath was arrested and taken to a police station where she was told Alyn had died.
The jury heard a woman work colleague had earlier bought Alyn drinks - and McGrath claimed he shouted her name during their row.
She told officers: 'My boyfriend pushed me to the floor twice. He's got two convictions for assault.
'He started biting me and I didn't know what to do. I just wanted him to get away from me. I love him.'
The jury was told Alyn and McGrath went to Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend, South Wales, on the morning of August 20 last year to collect her A-level results.
McGrath was due to go on to university but had failed to achieve the necessary grades.
The pair spent much of the day drinking before Alyn went to work at a Tesco supermarket in the nearby town of Maesteg.
They met up again later and together drank Malibu, cider, lager and whiskey before meeting friends at bars in Bridgend town centre.
Mr Thomas said: 'They were in one pub where Alyn met Tesco colleague Carys Stanton who had accidentally bumped Alyn's car previously.
'She was embarrassed even though Alyn Thomas laughed it off and made very little of the incident.
'She apologised for bumping his car and offered to buy Alyn some drinks.
'Katherine McGrath will later refer to this and will describe how it was the start of the incident.
'McGrath claimed that when Alyn attacked her he was aggressive and angry - shouting the name Carys.'
Jurors were told that a taxi driver who drove McGrath and Alyn to her home in Brackla, Bridgend, thought they were 'in good spirits and were a lively couple'.
But McGrath told police that once inside the house Alyn's behaviour changed.
She claimed he pushed her around the living room before she took the steak knife from a kitchen door to 'scare him away'.
The court heard McGrath and Alyn Thomas were together just three months before the night she stabbed him.
McGrath's best friend Claudia Ferri, 19, said: 'They got on really well. They were the other half of each other.'
Former classmate Claudia said McGrath was looking forward to starting a university course in Bristol.
Claudia described her friend as 'very studious and a hard worker' who was 'very popular and got on well with everyone'.
The court heard that after being arrested, McGrath was seen banging her head against a wall.
She told police: 'I want to kill myself.' But the prosecution claimed she was 'devious' and changed her story to detectives during interviews.
Prosecutor Roger Thomas said there was 'nothing by the way of violent threats or words' from Alyn to McGrath.
He added that McGrath was upset by her 'boyfriend's having spent time with, spoken to and accepted a drink from Carys'.
The court heard Alyn feared McGrath had cheated on him and was worried about her staying faithful during a long distance relationship.
John Charles Rees QC, defending, said: 'He was concerned about her going away to university. He didn't trust her. He was very fond of her.
'He was concerned she would go off to university and have a relationship with somebody else.'
McGrath's parents, Martin and Carla McGrath and 20 friends and family are supporting her from the court's public gallery.
The teenager, of Bridgend, South Wales, denies murder.
The trial continues.