newsCO.com.au–Man who murdered, mutilated wife in front of children should never be freed: prosecutors

December 18, 2017

A woman’s murder and the mutilation of her body, by her husband in front of their young children, was an act of violence so extreme prosecutors argue it warrants an extreme punishment – prison for the rest of the killer’s life.

The man repeatedly stabbed his wife then cut off body parts in their Melbourne home in June last year before dumping her body in a neighbouring suburb and driving his children to get pastries.

The woman, 27, could not be identified for several weeks after a jogger discovered her body wrapped in a quilt.

The killer, who cannot be named in order to protect his children’s identities, this year pleaded guilty to murder and returned to the Supreme Court on Monday so lawyers could make final submissions to Justice Lex Lasry before sentencing.

Prosecutors argue the 36-year-old killer was an aspiring jihadist with ambitions to fight in the Middle East, and murdered his wife because she opposed his intentions.

But forensic psychiatrist Leon Turnbull, called to give evidence by defence lawyers, has argued the husband was in a drug-induced psychosis caused by long-term ice use when he attacked his wife.

The man’s lawyers concede a long jail is warranted but argue he should be given the chance for parole if he can rehabilitate.

Prosecutor Sharn Coombes has previously said Dr Turnbull was reliant on the killer’s own account about his ice use, and there had been nothing in his conduct after the murder or in the police interview that indicated he was psychotic.

On Monday Ms Coombes told the court the man’s history of family violence, the injuries he inflicted, his dumping of the body and the fact his children were present were all aggravating factors, as was the woman’s knowledge her children witnessed the violence.

“[She] suffered knowing her children were there,” Ms Coombes said.

At times the man sat in the dock with his hands behind his head. The prosecutor said his crime, lack of remorse and insight and past criminal history meant the killer should never be released, even though he had pleaded guilty.

“This falls into the exceptional category, where a life term without parole is appropriate,” she said.

Justice Lasry remanded the man in custody to be sentenced at a later date.

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