Elliots Town murder: Rebecca Press jailed for at least 20 years

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Media caption,

This is the moment a killer called a friend to confess that she had committed murder

A woman who stabbed her mother's best friend to death has been sentenced to life in prison.

Rebecca Press, 31, stabbed 57-year-old Marc Ash in her mother's home in Long Row, Elliot's Town in July last year.

Cardiff Crown Court heard she had been drinking heavily and using drugs, including ecstasy and benzodiazepines, on the day of the killing.

Press initially denied murder but changed her plea during her trial. She must serve a minimum term of 20 years.

On the day of the murder, Press, from Trecenydd, Caerphilly county, had arrived to spend the weekend at her mother's flat after splitting up with her boyfriend.

Mr Ash was her mother's neighbour and best friend.

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Rebecca Press with her mother Michelle Press and brother Gavin Press

The court heard that Press and Mr Ash had been out drinking together earlier that day at the pub and local rugby club.

But Mr Ash returned home after telling Michelle Press, her mother, over the phone that Press was "playing up" and adding "I can't cope with her".

He came back to the flat and watched a film with Press' mother.

The court heard that when Press returned to the flat she was shouting and was upset that her brother Gavin Press, a friend of her ex-boyfriend, was at the flat.

Image caption,
Rebecca Press (right) admitted murder midway through her trial at Cardiff Crown Court

The brother told the court that his sister was drunk, angry and upset about the breakup and "said stuff in anger".

Press' mother said she asked her daughter to calm down, but that she only got more agitated and accused her mother of spitting in her face.

The mother told the court: "She gripped my arm, I saw teeth, I thought she was going to bite me."

The mother told the court she went to her bedroom to call the police and treat her bleeding nose, which had caught on Press' tooth.

While she was doing this, Mr Ash tried to calm Press down.

Press' brother said that his sister took a small knife from the kitchen drawer and was threatening to stab him with it.

He said that Mr Ash "walked into" the blade while trying to intervene.

The court heard a 7.5cm (3in) blade was plunged into Mr Ash's chest, and the rapid blood loss led to cardiac arrest.

In a video interview played to the jury, Press' mother described how her daughter told her: "I just stabbed your best friend to death."

The court was told she later left a voicemail on her ex-partner's phone saying "I've just stabbed someone and killed them. I've just murdered someone, please phone me now."

Sentencing Press, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, the Recorder of Cardiff, said: "It is clear you have caused the most terrible grief to Mr Ash's family."

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