A man who drunkenly stabbed the mother of their young child to death with a steak knife had a long history of brutally assaulting her, a court has heard.
A man who drunkenly stabbed the mother of their young child to death with a steak knife had a long history of brutally assaulting her, a court has heard.

Man who stabbed wife to death had history of violence: Court

A MAN who drunkenly stabbed the mother of his young child to death with a steak knife in Palmerston had a long history of brutally assaulting her, a court has heard.

Neil Marika, 36, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to manslaughter following the death of his wife in Palmerston in August 2018.

The court heard Marika had been drinking all day and was in breach of a domestic violence order when during a heated argument, his wife yelled "I'll kill you with this knife" that was lying on the kitchen counter.

In response, Marika picked up the knife himself, grabbed her by the hair and stabbed her three times, causing the fatal 12cm injury which pierced her heart and lung.

Crown prosecutor Stephen Geary told the court Marika had "regularly inflicted brutal assaults" on the woman in the past, including one "vicious" attack in 2006 in which "she came very close to death".

Mr Geary said Marika had been dealt with "leniently" by courts in the past and a significant head sentence was now required to send a message to the community.

"He would have been told on numerous occasions about respecting women, respecting his wife but he never listened," he said.

"He doesn't listen to anything the courts say, his criminal history shows that whatever penalty's imposed, as soon as he's out and the occasion arises he just assaults his partner, often brutally.

"This is a vicious brutal assault without any pity whatsoever to the mother of his child.

"This is as child that will never see their mother again."

Marika's lawyer, Marty Aust said the offending was "spontaneous and impulsive", less serious than other examples of the crime and "if he could take it all back, he would do so in a heartbeat".

"In the record of interview he appeared genuinely grief-stricken and almost unable to proceed to engage with the police, he said he was too upset and didn't want to talk to them but he felt he needed to tell the story," he said.

"A moment of madness, an over-reaction in the course of a heated argument by two drunken Aboriginal people has resulted in him inflicting serious violence and losing a person that he purported to love and hurting his family and her family forever.

"He understands that and he's willing to take the punishment that this court gives him."

Marika will return to court for sentencing on Wednesday.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 


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