Game of death. An edition of Hungry Hippos pictured yesterday afternoon


A 23-year-old local woman was cleared of murder at The Old Bailey yesterday after the judge decided there was “severe provocation” leading up to her frenzied axe attack on her boyfriend.

The judge, Justice Mary Dell, instructed the jury to deliver a not guilty verdict on Tracy Carter, from Mile End Road, after hearing the defense claim that Miss Carter had felt sexually threatened during a game of Hungry Hippos between the pair on the night of 23rd June 2015.

Ms. Carter testified that herself and the deceased, Toby Graham, 26, would play Hungry Hippos every Friday evening during their 3-year relationship. She told the court: “Initially, it was a night like any other. I got out the Hungry Hippos and we sat down to play. I noticed that Toby sat slightly closer to me than usual but I didn’t take much notice at that point.

“As the game wore on, he became more and more excited. He was shouting out with glee every time his hippo gobbled up a ball. I realised immediately that he intended to rape me.”

At one point, his knee touched mine under the table, it was rock hard; clearly signaling his arousal. He then got up, claiming that he wanted to go to the toilet; but I knew that he was going to fondle himself in the bathroom prior to violating me.

“When he came back, he asked me if I’d like a small glass of wine. Obviously, I realised that he was trying to render me unconscious through drink prior to subjecting me to a prolonged sex attack. It was at this point that I knew I had to act and went for him with an axe. It was him or me at the end of the day.”

This latest case mirrors the now infamous Monopoly Massacre killings in 1963, when a housewife from Shoreditch killed 6 people, with whom she was playing the board game, with a machete, after one of them laughed when she landed on Mayfair with a hotel on it.