Mum Of The Year accused of killing husband after daughter, 2 dies of cancer

A MUM has been accused of stabbing her husband to death after their two-year-old daughter died of cancer in her arms.

Helena Karine Atay, 42, from Newcastle was accused of drinking heavily and struggled to cope after she watched Sophie “take her last breath.”

Atay, 42, denies murdering Atakan, 45, at their home in Birtley, Gateshead, on the night of October 18 last year.

She claims he attacked her as she was about to go out to buy wine but can’t remember stabbing him.

A court heard how the devastated mum did everything that she could to save her daughter, raising huge sums of money for treatment in America but it was too late.

She was awarded “Mum of the Year” by the Newcastle Chronical after Sophie’s devastating death in 2010, but according to her sister Elaine Love, there was trouble at home.

Elaine told jurors Atay, from Birtley, Gateshead, had struggled to deal with Sophie’s death and was drinking heavily.

According to Elaine, Atay and her husband Atakan were in a “toxic” relationship and that Atakan was being violent towards her and abusive.

When she spoke to her about it, she said Atay told her: “Elaine, until you have held your child and watched them take their last breath and slept with their cold lifeless body and then bathed and clothed them in the morning, then handed their body over to the undertakers, then please don’t judge me.”

Mrs Love told Newcastle Crown Court she had never seen Atakan being physically violent towards Atay but was asked if she was aware from Atay there had been violence.

She replied: “Very much so, from the beginning of the relationship.”

Asked if she had seen Atakan verbally abuse her sister, she said: “Yes often. He would say things like you are lazy, you are good for nothing, you are fat, you’re ugly.

“Once I was there and there was an advert for a sofa and there was a sloth and he said ‘look Karine it’s you, isn’t it’.

“I had said that’s not very nice Atakan, you should not be like that.

“Karine said he does it all the time.

“He said but it’s true, isn’t it Karine.”

Mrs Love also claimed Atakan had made comments to her about Atay and would belittle her.

”He would moan about her, saying she was lazy and didn’t do housework,” she said.

“I told him it’s clear you and Karine are very unhappy and you should split up.

“I felt it was a toxic relationship and I felt she deserved better than that.”

She went on to tell jurors there was a memory box for Sophie in Atay’s ’s bedroom, which contained items including Sophie’s dummy, a yellow duck she held all the time, “Sophie’s diamond” made from her hair and some of her clothes.

She added that a pair of Sophie’s shoes were kept on Atay’s bedside table and she also had above her bed a picture of Sophie and a poem or verse and a handprint or footprint.

The trial continues.