Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Still Hasn't Sunk in but I Know He's Not Coming Back; Murder Victim's Girl Opens Her Heart in First Interview and Reveals Her Anguish

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Still Hasn't Sunk in but I Know He's Not Coming Back; Murder Victim's Girl Opens Her Heart in First Interview and Reveals Her Anguish

Article excerpt

Byline: RUTH LAWSON

DAZED Tonya Rutherford today opens her heart to tell how she helplessly cradled her boyfriend as he lay dying in her arms.

For the first time she revealed how Christopher Chapman's life ebbed away before her after he suffered a fatal stab wound.

It still hasn't sunk in, but I j

Tonya, of Blyth, Northumberland, relived the moment she awoke to find her partner of two years slumped on the pavement outside the home they shared.

Christopher, 24, had suffered a single stab wound to the chest after confronting Natasha Johnson, who was just 16 at the time, and Megan Hope, 19, in the early hours of April 19.

As Tonya slept, the two booze-fuelled teenagers had turned up at their flat on Windmill Grove, Cowpen, brandishing a kitchen knife.

They were seeking revenge for some imagined minor sleight but high on drink and adrenaline the night tragically ended with Johnson plunging the six-inch blade into Christopher. Unaware of what had unfolded as she slept, the 24-year-old awoke suddenly to the gruesome sight of Christopher, known affectionately as Chappy, motionless outside.

"I just woke up, I don't know why, and I looked out of the window and Chappy was on the floor and I ran out. I can't really remember what happened.

I was just concentrating on him," said Tonya.

She added: "I was on my hands and knees and I was saying 'Chappy, breathe, breathe' and he tried but then that was it and he didn't do anything else." KILLERS Hope, Natasha But before she had time to fully comprehend what was happening, police arrived and Tonya, along with the rest of their group of friends, were arrested and taken in for questioning.

It was here Tonya learned Christopher had died and officers said they were now investigating a murder.

Tonya's mum, April, dashed from her Blyth home to the town's police station to be by her daughter's side.

"They took her and everybody else in and said to them all they were going to charge them with murder. …

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