Wife stabber argues sentence based on sleeping victim

A TOOWOOMBA man who tried to stab his former wife to death says his jail term should be reduced because his sleeping victim's suffering was not as bad as it would have been if she was awake.

Darren James Williams was sent to prison in August 2014 after a jury found him guilty of plunging a knife about 10cm deep into the woman's chest.

The victim's two-year-old daughter was lying next to her mother when Williams, who was on a domestic violence protection order, broke into their Meringandan West home on October 14, 2012.

Williams left the knife in the victim when he fled the scene of the crime and even phoned his own mobile in the hope police would think another person called to tell him his former wife had been stabbed.

Last year, Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth ordered the now 39-year-old to serve 80% of his 15-year sentence but reduced the term by the 22 months Williams had already spent behind bars.

On Monday, Williams' defence counsel Carl Heaton  told the Brisbane Court of Appeal the sentence was "manifestly excessive" because the victim did not experience the full horror of the attack as she was asleep.

Mr Heaton also said the sentence should be reduced because the victim's physical scarring was minor, his client was not a threat to the community and he had completed rehabilitation programs while behind bars.

"Whilst she was defenceless while she was asleep, she (the victim) was also spared what must be the horrific ordeal of having to confront the violence being perpetrated on her," Mr Heaton told the court.

"It's to be distinguished … from a case where there is a prolonged violent attack on the victim who is desperately trying to defend him or herself.

"It's all questions of degrees.

"On the one hand it's an aggravating factor that she was asleep and defenceless, and on the one hand it can be said that she was spared some of the violence that others have been exposed to."

The crown argued Williams should serve the full sentence because the attack was planned and it happened after a court had ordered him to stay away from the victim.

The Court of Appeal has yet to hand down its decision.


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