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Woman is jailed after killing her boyfriend in a frenzied knife attack

Woman, 26, is jailed for 18 years after killing her boyfriend in a frenzied knife attack before falsely claiming he had raped her

  • Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 26, stabbed Gary Cunningham, 29, on February 23, 2019
  • Court heard she stabbed him 12 times in drunken rage at her Birmingham home
  • She was found not guilty of murder but convicted of manslaughter following trial
  • At Birmingham Crown Court today, Labinjo-Halcrow sentenced to 18 years in jail

A young mother who killed her boyfriend in a frenzied knife attack and then falsely claimed she had been raped has been today jailed for 18 years.

Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 26, stabbed 29-year-old Gary Cunningham 12 times with a kitchen knife at her home in Birmingham, West Midlands, on the morning of February 23 this year.

Mr Cunningham slowly bled to death after the gruesome attack and was eventually discovered by a delivery driver propped up against a fire exit door.  

Labinjo-Halcrow, who had a son from a previous relationship, was convicted by a jury of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after a three-week murder trial.   


Olivia Labinjo-Halcrow, 26, (left) stabbed 29-year-old Gary Cunningham (right) 12 times with a kitchen knife at her home in Birmingham, West Midlands, on February 23 this year. She was today sentenced to 18 years in jail at Birmingham Crown Court

Mr Cunningham slowly bled to death after the gruesome attack and was eventually discovered by a delivery driver propped up against a fire exit door (pictured, police at the scene on the morning of February 23 this year)

She claimed she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Mr Cunningham during their relationship. But a judge dismissed those allegations as he meted out an 18-year sentence at Birmingham Crown Court today.

Judge Simon Drew, QC, described Labinjo-Halcrow as ‘someone who could be bullying and manipulative and prone to lies’.

He told the court: ‘I accept the offence was not premeditated. 

‘I do not accept the sexual allegations you have made against the deceased. You did not complain about them to the police.

‘You remained in a relationship with him for many months.’

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Labinjo-Halcrow was Mr Cunningham’s on-off girlfriend and that she had a young son from a previous relationship.

She shared parental responsibilities with the father, whom she was separated from, and there had been ‘jealousy between the different parties.’

Text messages between Labinjo-Halcrow and Mr Cunningham suggested a history of physical violence towards each other.

Labinjo-Halcrow was three-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit when she killed Mr Cunningham in her flat in Harborne, south-west Birmingham and both had taken cocaine.

Tributes were left outside Labinjo-Halcrow’s home in Harborne, south-west Birmingham following the stabbing on February 23 this year

Mr Cunningham was stabbed 12 times with one of the wounds severing an artery below his knee.

Ali Bajwa, defending, said Labinjo-Halcrow had no memory of having inflicted the injuries.

He said: ‘The effect on the defendant is going to be terrible. She had no memory of the events. The knife was simply left on the kitchen sink.’

He said that she had been subjected by Mr Cunningham to a controlling, manipulative and abusive relationship.

But Judge Drew added: ‘I accept your relationship with Mr Cunningham was a volatile one. I do not accept it was one way.

‘In my judgement the degree of responsibility retained by you was somewhere between medium and high.

‘I accept you may not have been aware of the fact that Gary Cunningham was bleeding to death on the landing outside your flat.

‘However not only did he suffer multiple injuries but he also sustained 12 separate wounds.

‘The fact that some of them were relatively superficial suggests that the attack went on for some time, therby prolonging the suffering.

‘Furthermore the fatal blow did not cause instant death.’

Proceedings in court were temporarily stopped after a person in the public gallery yelled at Labinjo-Halcrow: ‘You took his life. You left him to bleed to death. You vile b******’

Kate Bex, QC, prosecuting, said that defence and prosecution psychiatrists agreed that Halcrow became ‘disinhibited’ through her alcohol intake.  

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