'Dangerous' woman killed young dad in Connah's Quay with stab wound to the heart

Emma Berry will serve a minimum of 16 years in prison. Credit: Daily Post Wales

A woman has been jailed for killing a young dad by stabbing him in the heart in his own home.

Emma Berry, 47, will serve a minimum of 16 years behind bars after she confessed to killing Dean Michael Bennett, 31, at Old Quay House in Connah's Quay in May.

A trial was due to take place this week - however, Berry changed her plea, admitting the murder.

Berry, of Old Quay House in Flintshire, was "frequently drunk" and was described in court as a "chronic alcoholic".

Both she and Mr Bennett lived in the house of multiple occupancy but had no prior issues until the fatal stabbing in May this year.

Dean Michael Bennett was stabbed in the heart Credit: Daily Post Wales

The prosecutor told the court how Mr Bennett was at a nearby pub - the Hare & Hound - asking for people to 'put him up' for the night.

It was said that he was telling people he 'could not go back there' referring to the Old Quay House and the 'idiots' who lived there. With no success, he left the pub and returned to the home.

When returning to his room, accompanied by a woman who cannot be named for legal reasons, the pair began to argue.

It was said three others were nearby - including Berry.

The court was told that another person in the room saw Berry "put her hands on her head" and heard her say she was "going to stab him" whilst looking at Mr Bennett arguing.

At this stage, Berry went and collected a knife from the sink of the shared kitchen area in the property and Mr Bennett went into his room alone.

Moments later, Berry returned to find Mr Bennett facing away from her.

The court heard that she got on top of him before stabbing him.

The judge was told the blade went through the letter 'i' on a chest tattoo of Mr Bennett's reading 'Mia' - his young daughter.

Berry was pulled away and the knife taken from her. She went back to her own room.

Emergency services were called but tragically Mr Bennett could not be saved.

Crime scene investigators in Dock Road Credit: Daily Post Wales

Defending Berry, the judge was told that the mum-of-three was a 'chronic alcoholic' - so much so that she lost access to her now adult children.

The day of the murder 'was no different' and the court heard it is 'plain to see' she was drunk that night.

Berry claimed that the argument which broke out was 'too much to handle' in her drunken state.

It was said that Berry feared Mr Bennett would get abusive with the woman he was speaking to and Berry wanted to prevent her from getting hurt. However, the solicitor stressed that they in no way wish to imply that Mr Bennett was intending to act violently that night.

'Dean was attacked in his own home - a place he ought to be safe'Judge Rhys Rowlands labelled Berry a 'dangerous woman' when passing the sentence for the “catastrophic” killing that left an entire family “devastated”.

He said: “Dean Bennett was attacked in his own home – a place he ought to be safe."Your behaviour is far from out of character as you have previous convictions for serious violence.”

Berry will serve 16 years behind bars - meaning she will be 63 years old before facing a parole board.

Speaking after the sentencing, Dean’s family issued a statement via North Wales Police.

It said: “As a family we wish to the thank the police and all those involved for all their hard work, and the speed at which the investigation has been dealt with.

"The support we have received from our family, friends and the wider community has been overwhelming.”

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bell, from the Major Incident Team at North Wales Police, added: “This is an incredibly tragic case which saw a young man lose his life as a result of a single stab wound.

“Dean’s family have understandably been left devastated by his death and the thoughts of the entire investigation team remain with them at this difficult time."

'A much-loved father, son, brother and friend to many'

"Our deepest sympathies go out to Dean’s family and friends for their loss. This tragic case is a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of knife crime.

“The use of a bladed weapon often has catastrophic consequences for the victim, their family and the perpetrator. I urge you to think twice about using such a weapon.

"As this case demonstrates, the senseless use of a knife has resulted in the tragic death of a much-loved father, son, brother and friend to many.

"I acknowledge the sentence imposed today and I hope it will provide some degree of closure to Dean’s family.

"I hope it will bring them, and the community, a small degree of justice.”