Partner jailed for fatally stabbing girlfriend in ‘reprehensible’ act
A South Australian man who fatally stabbed his girlfriend in the thigh during a jealous alcohol-fuelled rage has been sentenced to just under eight-and-a-half years in jail for what the judge described as a “reprehensible” crime.
- Justice says the intention of the stabbing was to inflict pain as punishment or as an act of control
- Victim was fatally stabbed in the thigh in her bathroom
- Police had already attended the home that day
Stanley Raymond Pausa, 43, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for causing the death of his girlfriend Nicole Rankine at a Gilberton home in April 2017.
The South Australian Supreme Court heard Pausa was heavily intoxicated when he began shouting at his girlfriend, calling her a “slut” and a “dog” and accusing her of being unfaithful.
The court heard police were called to the address due to the disturbance, but just a few hours later Pausa went into the bathroom of the home with his girlfriend and stabbed her once in the upper thigh.
Justice Tim Stanley said he accepted Pausa did not intend to kill his girlfriend, but said his actions were “reprehensible”.
“That act was the result of your uncontrollable anger and jealousy in the context of a domestic relationship,” Justice Stanley said.
“I infer that you stabbed Ms Rankine in the leg with the intention of inflicting pain either as some form of punishment or as an act of domination and control.
“Either explanation is reprehensible and deserving of the strongest condemnation.”
Offender’s violent past against other partners revealed
The court heard Ms Rankine’s death had devastated her family and friends.
“Ms Rankine’s life mattered, she was important to many people,” Justice Stanley said.
“She was a loving and caring person who went out of her way to help others in need.
“The sentence the court imposes must accord due recognition to the dignity of the life that has been lost and reflect the legitimate interest of the community in the denunciation and punishment of the brutal alcohol-fuelled destruction of a woman by her partner.”
Justice Stanley said Pausa had endured a “tragic childhood”, suffering abuse, neglect and unstable home environments before developing “a major problem with alcohol”.
“Your life has been marked by many of the same terrible circumstances that beset the lives of too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders,” Justice Stanley said.
The court heard Pausa had committed violence against women in past domestic relationships and was to be sentenced as a serious repeat offender.
Drunken violence against partners ‘too commonplace’
Justice Stanley said Pausa was to be sentenced for his girlfriend’s death on the basis that he committed manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act.
“This offending represents a far too commonplace escalation seen by courts dealing with offenders who, when intoxicated, resort to violence against their domestic partner.”
Justice Stanley said despite expressing remorse, he had “real doubt” about Pausa’s insight into his offending.
After allowing for a discount of nearly 30 per cent for Pausa’s guilty plea, Justice Stanley imposed a sentence of eight years and five months imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years eight months and 24 days.
The sentence was backdated to April 2017 when Pausa was taken into custody.
The court heard Pausa had been assessed as posing a moderate to high risk of reoffending and would need intensive support and supervision when released back into the community.