Woman sentenced to life imprisonment following murder re-trial

A woman has today been sentenced after being found guilty a second time of the murder of her partner who was killed in 2016.

Emma Magson was found guilty of the murder of James Knight in November 2016 and sentenced to life imprisonment ordering her to serve a minimum of 17 years.

Following an appeal against her conviction at the Court of Appeal in December 2019, a retrial was ordered which concluded at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday 5 March after eight weeks.

The jury in the second trial found Magson guilty of murder and she was sentenced today (Monday 29 March) to the same sentence - life imprisonment and to serve a minimum of 17 years.

Emma Magson

During the early hours of Sunday 27 March 2016, 27-year-old Magson stabbed James in the chest following an argument at her home in Sylvan Street, Leicester.

Magson phoned for an ambulance, telling the call taker that James had returned home from a night out and ‘collapsed on her’. She failed to mention he had suffered a stab wound.

However she later divulged to witnesses she had caused his injuries and was arrested by officers. A post mortem examination revealed James, who was 26, died from a single stab wound to the chest.

Detective Inspector Kenny Henry, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “It has been very disappointing to have to be back in court four years on to see the case be heard before a jury once more. The evidence against Magson continued to be overwhelming and the fact she has been convicted a second time just confirms that.

“Understandably James’ family found it incredibly difficult to sit through the first trial and hear her lies and deceit and how Magson effectively sat back and watched James die. It has been horrendous for this to be spoken about in court again.

“They have done their best to come to terms with his death but to hear yet again that Magson insisted that James had just collapsed because he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol has been distressing for them. They have been reminded with the fact that it was only some time later that she called an ambulance, and even then, she failed to disclose to the call taker that he had sustained a stab wound, a stab wound which she later admitting causing.

“They continue to struggle with the possibility had Magson called an ambulance sooner and told of them of his injury, he could have lived and they wouldn’t be mourning for James, a much loved son and brother.”

DI Henry added: “Knife crime can have a devastating effect on families which is why it continues to remain an ongoing priority for the force. Our #LivesNotKnives campaign has been running for a number of years and continues to be committed to reducing knife crime offences.

“Domestic abuse also remains a priority for us and as such we remain dedicated to investigating all received reports. We continue to work hard to raise awareness of domestic abuse, including working with partner agencies, to provide support and advice so victims feel able to reach out for help.”

For further information about knife crime, visit https://www.leics.police.uk/police-forces/leicestershire-police/areas/leicestershire-force-content/c/campaigns/2019/knife-crime/

For further information about domestic abuse, visit https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/

Family issue tribute to "devoted father and loving son"

James Knight

The following statement has been issued on behalf of the family of James Knight:

“James was only 26 years old when he was killed, a devoted father of two beautiful girls, a loving son, brother and uncle as well as a friend to so many.

“We remember James as a very happy bouncy young man who made everyone's day brighter with a smile that was infectious, something no-one will ever be able to forget and something we will always treasure.

“We continue, as a family, to relive what happened that night and our hearts will forever be broken to think of the pain that James suffered and how he was so cruelly taken away from us.

Knowing that there is a possibility had Magson called an ambulance sooner and told of them of his injury, James could have lived, will always be with us and is something we remain struggling to deal with.

“We would like to thank everyone who was involved in trying to save James’ life, whether it was at the house or at the hospital. We must also thank all those came to court to give evidence as witnesses again.

“As a family we would like to thank Leicestershire Police for their support once more and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), in particular Mary Prior QC and Paul Prior. Everyone worked so hard to get the right result and ensure justice has been served again.

“We are disappointed that Justice for Women felt there was enough evidence to support a re-trial bringing us back in court more than four years on. Their view to make her seem completely like the victim was wrong and unfair to James.”

Leicestershire Police News 29/03/2021