“Jealousy” is not an excuse.
This is the title of a BBC article. The sub-heading is:
A jealous husband has been jailed for life and must serve a minimum sentence of of 18 years for murdering his wife over her holiday romance.
The headline says it all: Kelvin Newton killed his wife because of something she did; not because Newton chose to kill his wife but because she made him. In two sentences, the BBC has blamed Assia Newton for her brutal death by strangulation with a dog lead. Assia Newton's crime falling in love with another man and asking for a divorce:
On Wednesday, Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees said: "This was murder born out of your sexual jealousy in the knowledge that she intended to leave you."
Let us be very clear here: jealousy is not an excuse to kill. A man who chooses to kill a partner is a violent man and nothing the victim does justifies murder.
Yet, we all know what the last part of the article is without even reading it. We instinctively know that a man who strangles their wife to death with a dog lead will have a history of domestic violence and abuse. Assia Newton lived in a violent relationship for 23 years. The moment she attempted to leave the relationship, she was murdered. Statistically, the most dangerous time for a woman is when she leaves the relationship.
The fact that Ms Newton was starting a new relationship is irrelevant. This is a clear cut case of domestic violence and using words like "jealousy" to define the murderer is making excuses for their behaviour. Assia Newton deserves better than this.