Back to Top

Back to Sentencing Tables Index​ 

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

Case

(age if known)

TypePleaRecordSentenceAppealFacts

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 husband 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 – on night of killing husband 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 – on night of killing had argument over phone - went to friend's house and obtained rifle - shot at husband 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' - husband had ongoing affair - on day of offence violent argument - intended to shoot husband 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 – husband very ill with MS and physically dependent - child suffered cerebral palsy and was also utterly dependent - V terrorised offender and kept gun beside 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 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 female V - on day of shooting V told him to leave - pointed rifle at V 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 had 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 – offender 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 - considered killing himself but taken to police by relatives – suffering paranoid delusional disorder

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

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 offender's young daughter - picked up knife with intention of frightening V - stabbing occurred when V moved towards offender

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 - offender '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 domestic violence - 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 - stabbed wife below ear.

History of volatile and violent relationship - 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 victim

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 offender and threatened her with knife - offender 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

(at 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 forced 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 – lost control when mother verbally abused offender and poked him in chest - degree of provocation high

Unlikely to re-offend in this way – need for 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 offender 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

(33%)

prior violence

5y 4m

NPP 3y

 

Stabbed de facto wife during domestic dispute - both parties affected by alcohol - V initiated attack with beer bottle and 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 – 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

4y 9m

NPP 3y 4m

 

 

FT 10m

 

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

(at murder trial – 10% for offer)

nil

9y 3m

NPP 6y 3m

 

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 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 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

(at 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 – 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

(at 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 V 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

(at 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

Villalon

(27)

[2014] NSWSC 1261

Price J

 

[2015] NSWCCA 229

Substantial impairment

Stabbing – domestic

VG

(at murder trial – discount for offer increased to 25% on appeal)

nil

8y

NPP 5y 6m

7y 6m

NPP 5y 1m

Stepfather abusive towards offender - also concerned about inappropriate sexual behaviour towards offender's sister – stabbed V and hit over head with hammer – element of provocation – unplanned offence

Schizophrenia – low risk of re-offending - remorse.

Merrick (No 5)

(32)

[2016] NSWSC 95

 

 

[2017] NSWCCA 264

Unlawful and dangerous

Assault - domestic

VG 

11y

NPP 8y 3m

AD

Struck girlfriend with blow to the head - led to V's death two weeks later – violent relationship

Family support - hard-working background – prior good character

Dowdle

(57)

[2018] NSWSC 240

Hamill J

Assault – Domestic

Substantial Impairment

PG

(25%)

PCA

3y

NPP 2y

 

Female - killed adult son severely disabled from car accident – disability caused son to drink and be physically abusive towards mother over long period – received little support - administered sedatives then placed plastic bag over head

Suffering major depressive disorder with underlying psychiatric conditions - remorse

TP

(mid 30s)

[2018] NSWSC 369

Hamill J

Criminal negligence

Young child

Accessory

PG

(20% plea and assist)

minor traffic

4y

NPP 18m

 

Mother failed to remove 12y daughter from danger and obtain medical treatment – aware victim brutally subjected to severe physical abuse over many years by male partner – aware of extent and seriousness of abuse – offender and second daughter also subjected to abuse – failed to obtain medical treatment after threats by partner and fear of losing children - but on occasions obtained treatment for herself

Offender suffering batter women's syndrome – PTSD and depression – significantly reduced culpability – effect of custody

Male partner sentenced for murder JK [2018] NSWSC 250

Last updated: 29.3.2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Back to Sentencing Tables Index