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Public Defenders

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This table is intended to be used as a guide only. Individual cases should be read if they are to be relied upon.

 

Manslaughter – History of Domestic Violence

CaseTypePleaRecordSentenceAppealFacts

Hill

(1981) 3 A Crim R 397

Provocation

Shooting - domestic

VG

Murder

  

Conviction AA

Manslaughter substituted

 

4y 6m

NPP 1y

Shot husband after many years of physical abuse. On night of killing V had returned home drunk and violent.

Bogunovich

(1985) 16 A Crim R 456

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PG 4y Bond Stabbed husband after long history of domestic violence. Night of killing V had struck offender outside club.

Manning

NSWCCA

15.4.1988

Unlawful and dangerous

Shooting - domestic

PGnil

5y

NPP 2y

ADShot husband. Good relationship with history of violent arguments. Night of killing had argument over phone. Went to friend's house and obtained rifle. Shot at V in dark intending to frighten him when he arrived home.

Roberts

NSW SC

(Hunt J)

31.8.1989

Unlawful and Dangerous

Shooting - domestic

PGNil2y GBB Aboriginal female shot husband. History of domestic violence - physical & psychological abuse. Treated like a 'dog'. V had ongoing affair. On day of offence violent argument. Intended to shoot V in leg but confrontation led to shooting in chest.

Whalen

NSW CCA

5.4.1991

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PG 

MT 5y

AT 3y

ADKilled husband with carving knife and axe - relationship had deteriorated - on day of killing verbally and physically abused by V

Gardner

NSWSC

Wood J

27.3.1992

Diminished Responsibility / Provocation

Shooting - domestic

PG 7y GBB 

Shot husband under extreme stress – V very ill with MS and physically dependent - child suffered cerebral palsy and was also utterly dependent - V terrorised A and kept a gun beside his bed – shot V once, then buried and reported him as missing

Extreme use of mechanisms of denial and repression developed to cope with major childhood traumas

Son died in lead-up to the trial - pregnant at time of sentencing - wholly exceptional case.

Peterson

NSW SC

22.5.1992

(Enderby J)

Provocation

Fight

Stabbing - domestic

PGunimportant

5y Bond

(PSC 5m)

 

Stabbed step brother in fight -element of self defence - V aggressively picked fight with offender - both been drinking - no premeditation.

History of violence at hands of step father and brothers.

McMillan

NSWSC

Slattery AJ

17.12.1992

Unlawful and dangerous

Shooting - domestic

VGPCA and unlicensed driver

MT 5y

AT 3y

 Turbulent relationship with V - on day of shooting V told him to leave - pointed rifle at her and it discharged - affected by alcohol.

Spencer

NSWSC

Mathews J 18.12.1992

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PGNil3y PD 

Killed de facto husband with single stab wound. - history of domestic violence - V physically and verbally abusing offender.

Fragile mental state.

Morabito

(1992) 62 A Crim R 82

Shooting – domestic

Accessory

VGnil

MT 8y

AT 2y 6m

ADArranged for lover to shoot husband during day leave from gaol - V record for violence, involved in organised crime and history of domestic violence - lured V to place of killing and supplied gun - genuine fear that V would kill her and children if he found out about affair.

Woolsey

NSWSC

Newman J

19.8.1993

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PGnil4y GBB History of domestic violence when V drunk - A assaulted during argument with V - picked up knife to scare V off and stabbed him.

Pavia

NSW CCA

9.12.1994

Provocation

Assault - domestic

VGnil

MT 9y

AT 3y

AA

MT 7y

AT 3y

 

Special leave to HC refused

Intense but turbulent homosexual relationship with V - bashed V with barbell and statuette - previous assaults on V.

Josifovski

NSWSC

Smart J

25.1.1995

Diminished responsibility

Stabbing - domestic

PG 

MT 6y 9m

AT 6y 6m

 

Stabbed wife 51 times after she refused to have sex with him - considered killing himself but taken to police by relatives

History of mental illness and paranoia – history of violent acts towards V and threats on her life - Yugoslav migrant.

Paranoid delusional disorder

Simon

NSWSC

Bruce J

21.7.1995

Stabbing - domesticPG 

MT 2y

AT 3y

 Stabbed de facto husband during fight after day of drinking at hotel - history of domestic violence.

McIntyre

NSWSC

McInerney J

15.3.1996

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PGnil

MT 2y

AT 4y

 Stabbed de facto husband when he grabbed her hair - prelude on previous occasions to serious assault - relationship characterised by inhumane treatment of offender - consumed drugs and alcohol.

Varagnolo

NSWSC

McInerney J

21.3.1996

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PGmal wound but not relevant2y GBB 

Long history of violent relationship with V, including rape - night of killing violent argument, including assault on A's young daughter - picked up knife with intention of frightening V - stabbing occurred when V moved towards A.

Very deprived background – part Aboriginal - stolen generation

Carlson

NSWCCA

25.11.1996

Diminished responsibility

Assault - domestic

PGlong record, bond for DV

MT 11y

AT 5y

AD

Assaulted de facto wife - substantial number of blows - violent relationship characterised by alcohol abuse - some provocative statements from V prior to attack.

Permanent brain damage from car accident and alcohol - reduced self control

Young

(mid 30s)

NSW SC

Levine J

20.5.1998

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PG2 bonds, mal damage, assault

MT 3y

AT 3y

 

7 stab wounds to husband - V started assaulting offender in argument about wine consumption - A 'snapped' and went into frenzy - no premeditation

Stormy and volatile relationship - offender not passive, helpless victim - some prospects of rehabilitation.

Moore

NSWCCA

16.6.1998

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PGminor

MT 2y 11m 21d

AT 3y

AD

Stabbed de facto husband during violent argument - history of violence and alcohol abuse.

Aboriginal with violent past, including DV - suffers pancreatitis, PTSD, borderline personality disorder - truly remorseful - commenced rehabilitation.

Nardoni

(26)

[1999] NSWSC 1097

Grove J

Unlawful and dangerous

Assault - domestic

PGassault, mal injury, nuisance offences

MT 2y

AT 3y

(PSC 1y)

 

Assaulted de facto wife - died of head injuries next morning.

Violent relationship - alcohol and drugs.

Sherry

(38)

[2000] NSWCCA 35

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

VGlengthy but minor alcohol related record

MT 2y 6m

AT 2y 6m

Crown AA

MT 3y 6m

AT 2y 6m

Stabbed de facto wife during violent altercation.  History of volatile and violent relationship.  Stabbed wife below ear.

Alcohol problems.

Kennedy

[2000] NSWSC 109

Barr J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PG 4y GBB 

Stabbed de facto husband in chest once during confrontation.  Circumstances of offence unclear but history of extreme and cruel domestic violence - spontaneous offence

Genuine remorse; suicidal; violent childhood beaten first by mother then deceased.

Kirkwood

(63)

[2000] NSWSC 184

Bell J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PGminor record

MT 12m

AT 18m

 

Aboriginal female had sexual relationship with V for 4-5 years - violent argument where V threw stool at A and threatened her with knife - A took knife and 'poked' V in chest.

Mildly intellectually handicapped; alcoholic; not prone to violence; health problems; carer for handicapped son.

Vandersee

(47)

[2000] NSWSC 916

Provocation

Assault - domestic

VG

(murder trial)

nil

8y

NPP 5y

 

Bashed sleeping husband to death with blunt end of a tomahawk or axe.  Provoked by domineering, controlling and cruel behaviour of V over many years.  Medium degree of provocation.

Suffering mild depression at time of offence.  Made immediate admissions to police.

Ko

(26)

[2000] NSWSC 1130

Kirby J

Diminished responsibility / provocation.

Stabbing - domestic

PGNil

4y

NPP 18m

 

Stabbed husband 17 times. Married V after he sexually assaulted her.  Unhappy and violent marriage, V forcing offender to have abortion, and seeking divorce.  Offender isolated and suffering major depression.  Attempted suicide.

Exemplary life prior to offence, model prisoner, genuine remorse

Bolt

(19)

[2001] NSWSC 747

Hidden J

 

(2001) 126 A Crim R 284

NSWCCA

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

VG

(murder trial – 25% offer to plea)

criminal record related to difficult background

5y 6m

NPP 2y 6m

Crown AA

6y

NPP 3y 6m

Stabbed mother to death.  Extremely dysfunctional childhood caused by violent and abusive treatment by mother.  Earlier in afternoon mother had ordered mentally ill daughter to leave house.  Offender subsequently lost control when mother verbally abused him and poked him in chest.  Degree of provocation high.  Unlikely to re-offend in this way.

Crown refused plea to manslaughter.  Needs much rehabilitation.  Genuine remorse.

Melrose

[2001] NSWSC 847

McClellan J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PG 4y GBB 

Aboriginal woman stabbed partner during violent argument – V had assaulted A earlier in evening – long term domestic violence - isolated by move to another town and became depressed.

Remorseful and severe psychiatric reaction to killing - significant suicide risk. 

Whiting

(35)

[2002] NSWSC 827

Levine J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(1/3rd)

prior violence

5y 4m

NPP 3y

 

Stabbed de facto wife during domestic dispute - Both parties affected by alcohol - V initiated attack with beer bottle - Then approached offender with knife - During struggle offender took knife and V stabbed once

Relationship characterised by violence of part of both victim and offender - Suffering alcohol dependence and personality disorder - Genuine remorse - Strict protection

Yeoman

(43)

[2003] NSWSC 194

Buddin J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PGNil4y GBB 

Stabbed de facto husband of 25y once in heart - Both heavily intoxicated – not fully aware of actions due to effect of intoxication - element of provocation and long history of DV – stabbed V on previous occasion

Prior good character - Isolation caused by recent move - Grief over recent death of father - Effect of imprisonment on 5y old son - Genuine remorse - Excellent prospects of rehabilitation

Mercy

[2004] NSWSC 472

Adams J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(25%)

Nil

4y 1m

NPP 2y 3m

(3m PSC)

 

Female - Stabbed de facto in back – Intent to frighten – Seeking to make stand in context of continuing physical and sexual abuse

Aboriginal with deprived and violent/sexually abusive childhood – Serious drinking problem –– diabetic – recent coronary by-pass surgery – 8 children, including one with V – has never been in paid employment

Russell

(48)

[2006] NSWSC 722

Newman AJ

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PG 

6y

NPP 3y

 

Female – stabbed de facto husband during confrontation – history of domestic violence – intent to inflict GBH

Mildly intellectually handicapped – difficult personal; life – brain injury from accident

Cavanough

(22)

[2007] NSWSC 561

Whealy J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

VG

(murder trial – 10% for offer)

 

8y 2m

NPP 5y

 

Female stabbed male de facto during domestic argument – spontaneous act – element of provocation – history of disputes – suffering depression and anxiety

Aboriginal with deprived and violent childhood – sexual abuse – drug and alcohol addiction – functioning at borderline level – mother to 2y child – remorse – prospects of rehabilitation

Ferguson

(36)

[2008] NSWSC 761

Barr J

Substantial impairment  / provocation

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(substantial)

Nil

7y

NPP 4y

 

Female entered sexual relationship with 22y male – unhappy relationship involving physical abuse, drug abuse and threats to kill – stabbed V during argument – impulsive and sudden offence – element of provocation

Major depressive disorder

Also suffering amphetamine abuse disorder – sexually abused as a child – remorse – prior good character

Zeilaa

(73)

[2009] NSWSC 532

Howie J

Substantial impairment

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(25%)

Nil

4y 10m

NPP 2y 6m

 

Frenzied stabbing of 67y wife during argument over breakdown in relationship

History of verbal and physical abuse - dementia

Chant

(41 – 48 at sentence)

[2009] NSWSC 593

Howie J

Provocation

Shooting - domestic

PG

(5%)

Mansl

Interfering with human remains

nil

Manslaughter

4y 9m

NPP 3y 4m

 

Total:

5y 4m

NPP 3y 11m

 

Female – Shot husband in head during argument – physically abusive relationship – gun initially produced that night by V – dismembered body and disposed of in various locations

Son assisted in hiding boy

Gabriel

(64)

[2010] NSWSC 13

Price J

Provocation

Assault - domestic

VG

(murder trial – 10% for offer)

nil

9y 3m

NPP 6y 3m

 

Had offer to plead guilty to manslaughter rejected by Crown – struck wife to head with skutch hammer – history of arguments with wife and suspected infidelity on her part – degree of provocation not high – threatened by wife with knife – extreme degree of violence – element of self defence

Also suffering early dementia, depression and underlying conditions – remorse – poor health

Worrall

(20)

[2010] NSWSC 593

Fullerton J

Substantial impairment

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(25%)

Nil

6y

NPP 4y 3m

 

Female stabbed 18y sister to death – difficult relationship characterised at times by physical fighting – purchased a knife prior to killing – stabbed sister in neck as she emerged from bathroom

Suffering serious hormonal condition requiring constant medication –medication caused obesity affecting self esteem and resulting in poor compliance with medication regime – mood disorder associated with non-compliance with medication prescribed for congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Prior good character - remorse

Doolan

(43)

[2010] NSWSC 615

Grove J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(20%)

Minor record – alcohol related

6y

NPP 3y 9m

 

Aboriginal female – stabbed partner – volatile relationship characterised by alcoholism and violence – both intoxicated – chased V with a knife who responded in joking manner – stabbed once in chest – failed to appreciate dangerous nature of knife – lower end of scale of seriousness

Distress and remorse – reasonably good prospects of rehabilitation

Duncan

(44)

[2010] NSWSC 1241

Hidden J

Unlawful and dangerous

Stabbing - domestic

PG

(15%)

Minor – PCA offences

3y

NPP 1y 4m

 

Female stabbed partner once in abdomen – V came home from party, pushed offender out of bed and started argument over text message – offender grabbed knife in fear he would continue assault – impulsive response in heat of argument - history of physical and verbal abuse – immediate remorse

Excellent work record in welfare area – excellent prospects of rehabilitation

Singh

(22)

[2012] NSWSC 637

McClellan CJ at CL

Provocation

Stabbing - domestic

VG

(murder trial – 25% for offer)

nil

8y

NPP 6y

 

Cut wife's throat with a Stanley knife during argument by ferocious attack -– during argument verbally abused by brother-in-law on telephone and V – V threatened to leave and have offender kicked out of country - married in India so both could move to Australia – long history of martial disharmony and violence – brutal and violent attack

Immature with no family or friends for support – offered to plead guilty – suffering psychiatric disorder at time of offending – good prospects of rehabilitation

Chen

[2012] NSWSC 1000

Schmidt J

Substantial impairment

Stabbing - domestic

PG

25%

 

6y 9m

NPP 3y 9m

 

Female fed ex-partner soup with sleeping tablets – stabbed sleeping V causing serious injuries to penis and severing arteries – history of emotional manipulation, cruelty towards son and dishonesty – panicked in repose to threats to take son

Suffering depressive disorder

Seymour

(24)

[2012] NSWSC 1010

Price J

Excessive self defence

Stabbing - domestic

VG

(murder trial)

minor

6y 6m

NPP 3y 6m

 

Female stabbed mother in arm as act of excessive self defence – V bled to death - History of verbal and physical abuse by V against offender – V a drug user – deliberate stabbing – failed to assist deceased but unaware could bleed to death – spontaneous offence

Deprived and dysfunctional childhood – suffering depression at time of offence

Bryce

(41)

[2014] NSWSC 1184

Beech-Jones J

Unlawful and dangerous

Assault - domestic

VG

(murder trial)

Lengthy record including conviction for assault on former partner – breached bond

8y

NPP 6y

 

Assaulted female partner in their unit - subdural haematoma – no evidence as to how injury caused – offender did not realise assault dangerous – failure to obtain medical assistance aggravating factor although not aware injuries life threating

Dysfunctional people in dysfunctional relationship – history of violence by both parties

Tarrant

(24)

[2016] NSWSC 1155

Fagan J

Substantial Impairment

Accessory

General

VG

(murder trial - 33% plea and assist)

Nil

10y 8m

NPP 8y

 

 

Female arranged killing of partner by male lover – fed victim sleeping tablets then called co-offender to house – victim killed in unknown manner and body disposed of by co-offender – violent relationship with Victim – suffering chronic depressive disorder and PTSD – barely sufficient level of substantial impairment – aggravating factors: stupefying drug – in company – in victim's home – planned

Gave evidence against co-offender – remorse- mother to five children

Co-offender Roff sentenced for murder

 

 

 

 

 

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