A woman whose ex-boyfriend stabbed her new lover to death last year has said she still loves the killer.

Michelle Dooley, of Sheephouse Way, Old Malden, was in the next room when jilted ex Andrew Nichols stabbed new flame Colin Bolton seven times, with the fatal blow piercing his breastbone.

Nichols, 45, was cleared of murder this week by a jury at the Old Bailey, but had pleaded guilty to manslaughter before the trial.

Miss Dooley posted on Facebook this week, saying: “Love u andy xx can't wait to c u next week”.

Nichols stabbed Mr Bolton, 28, on the Kingsnympton estate in the flat of old school friend, and Miss Dooley’s ex-partner, Roger Thornton, after a series of taunting incidents by Mr Bolton.

Defence barrister Lewis Power QC said Mr Bolton was “lording it” over Nichols, “goading” him about having slept with Miss Dooley and gave him a photo of the pair of them kissing.

Miss Dooley told the court that sex with electrical engineer Mr Bolton “only happened the once and it was a mistake”.

She added: “He would call me all the time when he was supposed to be at work. He was putting lots of pressure on me about a month before [the stabbing] happened.”

Nichols is an only child, whose parents split when he was very young, the court heard.

Until the stabbing he lived with his mother, having suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 and not worked in more than a decade.

Nichols told the court he could not remember stabbing Mr Bolton, but knew later he had done something wrong.

After leaving Mr Thornton’s flat he withdrew £300 and went to see his brother in Havant, Hampshire, where he was arrested on Tuesday, June 11 last year, the day after the attack.

He will be sentenced on Friday, March 14.

On Monday, June 10, Michelle Dooley had been discharged from Kingston Hospital and was recuperating at Roger Thornton’s Thursley House flat.

Colin Bolton had picked her up from hospital and driven her there.

Nichols, who had visited Miss Dooley in hospital and brought her sandwiches, also went to the flat. The three men were in conversation when Mr Thornton went to the kitchen to get a cup of tea, the Old Bailey heard.

While lying down in one of the two bedrooms, Miss Dooley heard Mr Bolton cry out: “Get off me, get off me!”

Nichols had stabbed Mr Bolton seven times on the living room sofa and, after being pulled away by Mr Thornton, gone to the kitchen.

There he picked up a second knife.

Miss Dooley told the court: “He was trying to get into the front room. I told him to give me the knife.”

After Nichols complied, she threw the knife away from him.