Man guilty of trying to kill wife as she slept
IT WAS only a matter of luck that a woman stabbed in the chest as she lay asleep in bed next to her two-year-old daughter didn't die from the attack, Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth told a Toowoomba court.
Sentencing Darren James Williams to 15 years' in jail for the attempted murder of his ex-wife Courtney Stevens, Justice Applegarth inferred Williams had "aimed for her heart".
"It is only a matter of luck that Ms Stevens wasn't added to the body of women who have been attacked by controlling, possessive and violent men," he said.
"Violence against women must be deterred and denounced."
Williams admitted taking a knife from his home in Centenary Heights and driving to his ex-wife's home in Meringandan West late on October 14, 2012.
He admitted breaking into her home to find her asleep on her back in bed where he stabbed her in the chest.
However, he pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.
The jury took less than four hours to find he had intended to kill his ex-wife.
After stabbing his ex-wife, leaving the knife in her chest, Williams had fled the home and driven back to Toowoomba, stopping to make a phone call to his own mobile phone so later he could say someone had called him to tell him his ex-wife was in hospital.
"Unless she was treated she was going to die," Justice Applegarth said.
"You did not stay to render assistance or even call an ambulance."
Williams had initially lied to police and denied any involvement in the offence.
The knife had plunged eight to 10cm into Ms Stevens' chest and her recovery had been difficult, the court heard.
She sat with family in court during the sentence.
In her victim impact statement read to the court, she said she still had nightmares about the night "my husband tried to murder me in front of my daughter".
The court heard Williams and Ms Stevens had married in 2010 but separated in November 2011.
Though he had wanted to reconcile, she had not and prior to the attack she had started a relationship with another man.
Williams at that time was subject to a court ordered domestic violence protection order, which Justice Applegarth found to be another aggravating factor.
"Men like you are a disgrace," he told Williams.
"You treat domestic violence orders as if they're a piece of confetti."
Because his sentence is more than 10 years, Williams must serve 80% of the 15 years though Justice Applegarth declared the 22 months he had been held in custody since his arrest as time served under the sentence.