Woman jailed for killing her abusive ex-husband
A DOMESTIC violence survivor who stabbed her ex to death after enduring 18 years of physical and sexual abuse at his hands will spend as little as three years behind bars.
The woman, who can't be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to five years jail suspended after three years for killing her ex-partner by stabbing him twice in the back.
A murder charge against her was downgraded to manslaughter by provocation.
The dead man breached a domestic violence order by visiting his ex-wife in May 2018 and was stabbed following a fight which started after he insisted she sleep with him.
The woman was admitted to Alice Springs Hospital 37 times for injuries alleged to have been inflicted by her ex-husband, including a broken jaw.
A report from the woman's psychologist Stella Hayes stated she suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after two decades of physical and sexual abuse by her ex-husband.
"(She) has clearly been a victim of brutality on many occasions … I had often thought that one day she would be killed," Ms Hayes said.
After drinking, the man arrived at a house where his ex-wife was staying and walked back and forth into her room asking to sleep with her.
The woman picked up a wooden bed slat and hit his arm but he grabbed the same slat and threatened to hit her.
A witness intervened and took the bed slat away but the woman armed herself with a knife and stabbed her ex twice in the back.
The woman called an ambulance as her ex-husband bled heavily but he died upon the arrival of paramedics.
Justice Jenny Blokland said the woman had taken many steps to improve her life with rehabilitation, counselling and anger programs.
"This abuse took place despite many interventions by police and the use of domestic violence orders … the deceased continued to regard (her) effectively as his property."
Ms Blokland said the court still had to denounce the "tragedy" of a lost life.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.