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STEAK KNIFE KILLER'S PLEA; Ex-glamour model to appeal over sentence.

Byline: By BEN ROSSINGTON Crime Reporter

A FORMER glamour model who knifed her boyfriend to death in front of a packed restaurant has been given leave to launch a second appeal.

Stephanie Williams, 36, has already lost an appeal against her conviction for murder, but has now been allowed to challenge the length of her sentence.

Williams, formerly of Roseside Drive, Netherley, was jailed for life at Liverpool crown court in October 2002 after a jury convicted her of killing 22-year-old John Lamont.

The couple had been dining in the Chapel Brook restaurant, Huyton, in February 2002, whenMr Lamont left to run an errand.

His car ran out of petrol on the way back and when he returned, Williams plunged a steak knife into his chest after they argued.

Last summer, Williams, a motherof one, launched an appeal against her conviction, claiming she was suffering from "battered wife syndrome" and lashed out atMr Lamont because she thought he was going to "batter her".

But the appeal, in which her legal team painted Mr Lamont as a violent, possessive drug-dealer, was thrown out, and in February this year a high court judge ruled she must serve at least nine years before applying for parole.

Williams has now gone back to the court of appeal and won the right for a second appeal to try to bring her possible release date forward from 2011.

The appealwas granted after three top judges heard yet more allegations from Williams that she had suffered at Mr Lamont's hands and that she had made "exceptional progress in prison".

Julia Dick, representing Williams at the high court, passed forward letters the defendant had received from Mr Lamont while he was in prison at the start of their relationship.

It is alleged the contents of the letters contained several threats to kill and extreme violence.

Williams's progress towards rehabilitation behind bars was also of such an "exceptional" nature that she deserved a reduction in her minimum term, MrsDick added.

Granting leave to appeal, Lord Justice Hooper said: "That, in our view, is arguable and it is arguable that she has shown sufficient exceptional progress."

ben.rossington@liverpool.com

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APPEAL: Stephanie Williams at time of her trial in Liverpool in 2002; VICTIM: John Lamont was stabbed to death
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2008
Words:381
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