Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Husband killer gets four years jail

Guilty of manslaughter ... Danielle Stewart has been sentenced to at least four years in jail for stabbing her husband Chaim Kimel to death.

A judge told the family of a man who was stabbed to death by his wife that they might think her punishment "inadequate''.

Danielle Stewart, 32, was found guilty in October of manslaughter after she stabbed Chaim Kimel, 55, twice in the abdomen with a knife during an argument in their Rose Bay apartment in August 2006.

Today at the Supreme Court, Justice Jane Mathews told members of Mr Kimel's family, including his youngest son, that courts could not impose sentences to reflect the pain and suffering of a family.

"I suspect that you'll regard the punishment that I am about to impose as quite inadequate to the extent of your loss...'' Justice Mathews told the family before sentencing Stewart to a maximum of 6 years and 4 months and a minimum of four years in jail.

Stewart could be eligible for parole as early as June 2011.

Mr Kimel's family declined to comment on the sentence outside court.

Stewart, who had been diagnosed with severe borderline personality disorder, had been drinking heavily on the night in question.

The court heard she had become extremely agitated after her husband changed the password to their company's website.

"The offender in her intoxicated state grabbed hold of the knife to stab the deceased without averting to the consequences,'' Justice Mathews said.

He found that Stewart had a good chance for rehabilitation as long as she received intensive treatment for her disorder.

Stewart had made several attempts on her life since the age of 12 and had suffered sexual abuse as a young girl, the worst occurring shortly after her mother died of breast cancer.

Justice Mathews found that Stewart was unlikely to reoffend despite the emotional and psychological issues that stemmed from having "more than her fair share'' of childhood trauma.

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