Finally, Tracie Andrews stepped into the glass-screened dock in Court Nine at Birmingham Crown Court on July 1st, 1997, to plead not guilty to murder of her partner Lee Harvey.

Smartly dressed, her long blonde hair carefully waved, the 27-year-old listened impassively to Mr. David Crigman QC, prosecuting, as he made his opening speech to the jury. He said that her story of a road rage attack was complete fiction. She had been able to give the police such a detailed account because she had been involved in a similar incident previously, and had used the circumstances of that – and the face of a man she had seen briefly in a pub – to produce her scenario.

Mr. Crigman said that Tracie Andrews had stabbed 25-year-old Lee Harvey more than 30 times with a Swiss Army-style knife. She then tucked it in one of her boots, hiding it in a rubbish bin in a toilet. By the time police had identified her as the culprit, the bin’s contents had been thrown away.

Holding up the right size four boot, the prosecutor told the jury that a forensic scientist examining the lining had found a bloodstain near the top. It was just over two and a half inches long and one inch wide and could have been made by contact with a blood-wetted object slid into the boot.

Analysis showed that the stain had a DNA content consistent with having come from Lee Harvey…