Man jailed for stabbing wife in the heart
A MAN whose years of "brutal" abuse of his partner culminated in her stabbing death in Palmerston less than two months after he was released from prison for breaching a domestic violence order has been jailed for nine years.
Neil Marika, 36, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to manslaughter after admitting to stabbing the woman in the heart with a steak knife during a drunken argument in October 2018.
The court heard Marika had been drinking all day and was again in breach of the domestic violence order when he grabbed her by the hair and stabbed her three times.
In setting a non-parole period of six years yesterday, Justice Peter Barr noted Marika's history of violence against the woman - who was the mother of his two-year-old son - dated back to 2006 when she was just 16 years old.
The court heard the victim had said "I'll kill you with this knife" before Marika picked it up and stabbed her with it but Justice Barr said his response was "disproportionate" and "extremely violent".
"It speaks of a great deal of anger on your part which was no doubt alcohol fuelled to a large extent," he said.
"The killing of your former partner has deprived your little boy of the care and guidance of his mother.
"It's a very sad thing for the family of the deceased and for her community to have lost her at such a relatively young age."
Justice Barr said the offending was "not far short of intentionally causing death" and "made worse by the fact you were in the company of the deceased when you should not have been".
"The death of your former partner would not have happened if you had complied with the terms of the full non-contact domestic violence order," he said.
"That order had been made for the protection of the deceased.
"This court must impose a sentence which will deter you in future from committing an offence of this kind."
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.