MEDICAL evidence swayed the crown prosecution service to drop the murder charge against Ian Swinburne who stabbed his girlfriend's ex-partner at her Halesowen home, it emerged today.

Mr Swinburne claimed he killed David Carpenter in self defence after the 47-year-old burst into Nicola Bennett's house in Graham Road, where he was staying.

Mr Carpenter, from Oldbury, died from a stab wound to the chest during the incident on Sunday February 3 and Mr Swinburne, of Stourbridge Road, Dudley, was charged with murder and assault causing actual bodily harm to Mitchell While, who had accompanied Mr Carpenter to the house.

Martin Lindop, Sector Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands CPS said: “Following the death of Mr Carpenter, a file was submitted to the CPS and we, as is our duty, applied the Code for Crown Prosecutors on the case which has two stages, the Evidential Stage and the Public Interest Stage, both of which need to be met for a prosecution to proceed.

“The case against Ian Swinbourne passed both these two tests and he was charged with the murder of Mr Carpenter as well as assaulting a person, thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm. “

"As part of our continuing duty to keep cases under constant review, an additional statement was received from one of the key prosecution witnesses which provided medical evidence into the cause of Mr Carpenter’s death.

"Having reviewed this new evidence, a decision was made to drop the charges against Mr Swinbourne on the basis that there was now insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”