A mother who was convicted of manslaughter after she killed her husband has today (Friday) been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
Karine Atay, 42, was found guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court on May 9, after stabbing her husband Atakan Atay, 45, in the heart following a row in their home.
The businessman died from the single stab wound to his heart following the argument at the address on Jasmine Terrace in Birtley on October 18 last year.
When paramedics and police arrived at the scene to try and save his life, Karine Atay claimed that someone else had been in the house and attacked her husband.
She then claimed that she had overheard her husband having a fight with someone and that he had "enemies".
She went on to tell Officers that it was an argument that got out of hand.
In Court, Atay told the Jury that there had been a physical struggle between the pair and that she was assaulted as she tried to escape but that she couldn’t remember how Atakan had been stabbed.
She also claimed there was a level of abuse throughout their relationship, saying Atakan had stopped her from leaving the house, was verbally and physically abusive and that she was a victim of coercive and controlling behaviour.
But Prosecutors refuted the extend of those claims in court and told the jury that she had exaggerated what had happened during their 20-year marriage in a bid to escape being convicted of killing Atakan.
Karine Atay, of Jasmine Terrace, Birtley, pleaded not guilty to murder.
Earlier this month, the trial concluded and the jury cleared her of murder.
However, they did find her guilty of a lesser charge of Manslaughter and she was remanded in custody.
Following the sentencing, Atakan’s family described the Judge’s comments as compelling, and in particular, took comfort in the recognition that Atakan was a good man who had tried his best to assist his wife and their family, but had lost his life for it.
Although Atay had tried to discredit Atakan’s good name, a number of witnesses provided accounts to the contrary and the Judge acknowledged her attempts to do this had not been successful.
DCI Sharon Chatterton, the Senior Investigating Officer who led the investigation said: "We have worked closely with the family since Atakan's death and we have witnessed first-hand the devastation it has caused for everyone.
"It is a tragic case that has left two young children without a father and with a mother who will now spend time in prison.
"Atakan was described to us as a kind and loyal man who, along with his family, experienced some very difficult times.
“This included his daughter losing her fight to cancer in 2010, his father passing away and Atakan himself suffering from some serious health matters.
"I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult the loss of Sophie would have been for the family but it is clear that Karine and Atakan struggled in the years after Sophie's death.
"Karine’s alcohol consumption increased and she ended up with convictions for drink-driving and assault.
"Atakan remained in the relationship and supported her for the sake of their marriage and for their children; for that he has lost his life.
"Karine attempted to paint a picture of Atakan as a controlling and violent husband but we believe this has been greatly exaggerated to excuse her behaviour and avoid a conviction.
“The sentence handed down by a judge today won’t bring Atakan back to his family but I hope it can bring them some closure and help them to move on with the rest of their lives.”