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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Adam Everett & Gemma Bradley

Murderer who fatally stabbed her boyfriend in the heart jailed for life

A woman has been jailed for life after stabbing her boyfriend to death.

Joanne Moran was unanimously found guilty of murdering Jonathan Gibbons today, Wednesday. The 50-year-old victim was knifed in the heart at the couple's home on Bridge Road in Litherland in the early hours of October 30 last year.

The killer, who wore a black jumper in the dock and sat with her blonde hair tied back in a bun, showed no emotion as the jury's verdict was delivered after two hours and 53 minutes of deliberations. This afternoon, 43-year-old Moran was handed a life imprisonment with a minimum term of 17 years.

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11 out of 12 jurors appeared to witness the sentence, and three people remained in support of Moran. Mr Gibbons’ family, including his son Jay Gibbons, were present.

Jay Gibbons wrote a victim personal statement and read it to the court. He said: “I would like to make this victim personal statement on behalf of me and my family with regards to my dad.

“When we heard the news that my dad had been injured in an incident with Joanne, we were all in total shock.” He said seeing his father in the hospital attached to machinery, “waiting for the inevitable” was extremely difficult.

Mr Gibbons added that coming to the “realisation of the likelihood of the fact that he would die”, made him “physically sick”. He said the entire incident was made worse by the fact that his relationship with his father “had broken down due to his relationship with Joanne”, and they had not spoken in several years.

He said: “He has a two year old grand daughter that he will never meet, and because of this incident with Joanne I will never have the opportunity to introduce her to my dad.” Mr Gibbons said his auntie, the victim’s sister, Sandra Lewis, had a “much closer relationship” with the victim, and that she is heartbroken to never see her younger brother again.

He said: “It feels like such a waste of life to be taken away like this. “My dad will be forever missed.”

Sentencing, the Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary KC said: “You and Mr Gibbons had been in a relationship for about six years before that fateful night. “For much of that time it was a relatively good relationship but in the early days it was marked by occasional episodes of violence where you attacked Mr Gibbons, scratching his face with your fingernails.

“Sometimes those attacks left marks on his face, and it is clear from the evidence given during the trial that others who knew you both thought that this was an unhealthy relationship for Jonathan Gibbons. “There were times when he hit you, but you readily accepted that this might have been him simply responding to your attacks and in an effort to restrain you.”

He continued: “It suggests that you are someone who is prone to or capable of reacting violently to situations and out of proportion to something you perceive as provocation.” Judge Menary referenced the brief verbal altercation between Mr Gibbons and another male in the house on the night, but said when the witness left, “that should have been the end of the matter”.

He continued: “But for some inexplicable reason, you decided to go to the kitchen, pick up a sharp knife, come back through the dining room and into the hallway where you proceeded to stab your partner in the chest. “This was clearly a deliberate act and the place you chose to stab him was bound to risk being a fatal injury.

“As the pathologist said, Mr Gibbons was dying from the time the knife entered his heart.” A trial previously heard that Moran called the emergency services at around 4.45am on October 30 2022 to report the stabbing.

She and Mr Gibbons had been in a relationship since 2016 and had lived at the address for around four years, where they had been playing cards and drinking since 3pm the day before. The defendant told police "I just stabbed my partner" and repeatedly said "I'm sorry".

Under interview, Moran admitted to having previously "scratched" her victims during arguments. She stated that Mr Gibbons had not attacked her back and described him as placid, referring to herself as "just a cow".

But the murderer then claimed her boyfriend had assaulted her and given her a black eye on two occasions. Moran added: “I don’t always put my hands on him. If we argue, we argue.

"But it doesn’t always end up in me assaulting him. I’m not that bad." During her trial, Moran maintained that she had "moved the knife" but "didn’t go to stab John".

She said she did not remember picking up the knife and did not intend to stab Mr Gibbons.

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