A teacher who is accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death has denied murder and claims she acted in self-defence, a court heard.
Charlotte Kerr, 35, from Addiscombe in Croydon, south
Kerr, who was charged with murder after the fatal stabbing last year, said the pair had argued because she woke him up early on a Sunday morning.
She claims she stabbed the father-of-two in self-defence and denied murder.
Charlotte Kerr, 35, from Addiscombe in Croydon, south London, who is accused of stabbing her boyfriend Giovanni Wallace, 29, to death in October last year has denied murder, jurors at at Croydon Crown Court heard
During a police search of the couple’s flat a week later a note was found which said ‘die’, ‘hate’ and ‘f*** all men’, jurors at Croydon Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Daniel Robinson QC said: ‘In a Sainsbury’s carrier bag police found some notebooks. A police officer flicked through the notebook and found a piece of paper.
‘We can see that it says: ”You don’t have one, go away, go away, go, go”, it has ”hate” written in big red letters and then on the right hand side of the page ”f*** him, f*** life, die, f*** all men, die, c***”.
The court heard police officers found a knife on the hob in the kitchen, which prosecutors believe to be the murder weapon, and a further two knives on the toilet seat during a search.
It was said Mr Wallace had been seeing Kerr since December 2019 and they both worked for a company training people who wanted to work as nursery teachers or assistants.
The prosecutor said a series of text messages from October 25, the day of the alleged murder, show the couple were having an argument just before 7am.
An analysis of Kerr’s phone found she called her mother at 6.36am and at 6.38am Mr Wallace texted Kerr saying: ‘Can you shut up I want to f***ing sleep for once’.
Mr Robinson said: ‘That is followed five seconds later with a message from him saying ”are you taking the p***?”
‘Miss Kerr replied at 6.41am saying ”well if you didn’t take the p*** I would be asleep right next to you so why don’t you shut up!”.’
Jurors heard after 13 minutes Mr Wallace replied: ‘Charlotte I quit. Simple as. You ain’t ever going to get anything right. You are next to me while I’m having these sleep issues texting with some bright screen.
‘I explained my love to you yesterday for you to try to text me bulls***.’
Kerr claims she stabbed her boyfriend in self-defence after he strangled her at their flat. (Stock image)
Mr Robinson said: ‘Mr Wallace followed that with a text message 30 seconds later: ”You have me fully up earlier than a weekday”.
‘Just over nine minutes later at 7.03am Miss Kerr replies ”my love for you is dying”.
‘To which Mr Wallace responded ”good then, we don’t work, f*** it. When you go for your important family dinner I will leave.”
The court heard the messages were ‘highly argumentative’ and finished at around 7.10am when Kerr said she was turning her phone off.
The court heard Kerr then made another call to her mother, which lasted for just under five minutes.
Neighbours began to hear shouting from the couple’s flat just after 7am, the court heard.
Mr Robinson said: ‘Shortly before the stabbing Marcia Henry-Thomas heard the words ”f*** off then”.
‘Radek Szczodrowski and his wife Cheryl were in their kitchen on the ground floor. They could hear loud angry shouting. They heard someone scream the word ‘neighbour’.
At some point Mr Szczodrowski went to his flat’s front door but nobody was there. He could no longer hear Giovanni Wallace, and Charlotte Kerr was screaming.
Shortly afterwards Miss Kerr banged on the door to Mr Szczodrowski’s flat screaming for help. Radek and Cheryl Szczodrowski looked out of their doorway and saw Giovanni Wallace lying in the hallway.
Jurors heard Kerr told neighbours she had stabbed Mr Wallace after he strangled her.
They also heard Kerr repeating these claims to the 999 operator on a call placed at 7.39am.
Police arrived around nine minutes later and jurors heard Kerr told them: ‘I was scared I didn’t know what to do, I just grabbed it. I didn’t even think I hit.
‘I will do whatever jail time. He was getting so angry I didn’t know what to do. He started putting his hands around my neck and he dragged me.’
Mr Wallace was pronounced dead at 8.26am, the court heard, and a Home Office pathologist later gave a cause of death as a single stab wound to the heart.
Dr Olaf Biedrzycki said the wound would have required ‘at least moderate force’ and was between 7cm and 13cm deep.
Kerr was examined by a nurse at Croydon Police Station, and jurors heard she had a graze to the left side of her nose and tenderness to the right side of her neck – although no injuries were visible to the neck.
She also had ‘pain and tenderness and soft tissue swelling’ in her right arm and elbow.
Mr Robinson said: ‘In Dr Biedrzycki’s view there was no evidence from the photos that she had been strangled.’
He told jurors a defence expert will give evidence the photos ‘do not exclude the possibility that Miss Kerr had been strangled’.
The court heard CCTV from inside the police station also recorded Kerr praying after her arrest, and she can be heard saying: ‘Today I sinned and let my temper take hold of me.’
It was said police were previously called to the address in May 2020 after a neighbour reported banging and shouting.
Mr Wallace is said to have left the property at the request of officers and neither he or Kerr made any allegations that a crime had been committed.
The trial continues.
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