Woman’s new man stabs jilted lover to death


A JILTED lover was stabbed to death by his partner's new boyfriend after the man hid in the bushes and caught the pair.

Darren James Lawler, 37, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday to the downgraded charge of manslaughter of 41-year-old Deception Bay man Paul Andrews last year.

Lawler will be sentenced this afternoon.

The court heard Lawler had met Mr Andrews' partner, Tiffany Baker, about five weeks before he stabbed the father of her children to death in July 2018.

Lawler and Ms Baker had spent time together and taken drugs prior to the evening of the killing, crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said.

Darren Lawler, 36, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Paul Andrews.
Darren Lawler, 36, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Paul Andrews.

The court heard Mr Andrews suspected Ms Baker was having an affair with the man and on the day Mr Andrews was killed she left him at a Strathpine shopping centre after saying she was "going to the toilet".

Instead, she went to Lawler's Mango Hill apartment.

Later that day, Mr Andrews drank a bottle of vodka and hid in the bushes outside the 37-year-old man's Brushwood Court home until he emerged.

The pair began fighting when Mr Andrews saw Lawler leaving the unit with Ms Baker.

The court heard Mr Andrews said: "Hey little boy, you think it's OK to have my Mrs over at your house?"

The pair began to fight and neighbours told police they heard Lawler say: "I'll stab you c***".

Lawler then unfolded an army-style knife and stabbed Mr Andrews five times - including one 9cm wound in the chest and heart.

The 41-year-old was also stabbed in the neck and head, the court on Thursday heard.

"The knife changes it from a couple of hot-headed men rolling around and punching each other to a lethal situation," Justice Peter Davis said during the sentencing hearing.

The man died on the driveway of the apartment complex from the wounds after attempts were made to revive him.

Lawler, who is a knife collector, was arrested covered in blood, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Andrew's mother said she could not adequately put into words "the indescribable pain of losing a loving son".

She said her son "thought there was still a chance" of fulfilling his dream to have a loving family the night he went to Lawler's home.

Darren Lawler.
Darren Lawler.

"When my son died, our own hearts as parents were destroyed," she told the court.

"Please don't allow his life to have no value. This is my only justice as I wasn't there when my son Paul died."

After his arrest last year, Lawler was initially charged with murder but was unable to appear in court over the charges because he was in hospital undergoing an MRI scan and receiving stitches.

In a letter written to the court, Lawler said he was sorry for the death but shocked to find Mr Andrews at his home.

His defence barrister Tim Ryan said his client knew Mr Andrews was a "jealous man".

He said Lawler was struck in the head with a torch at the start of the fight.

Mr Ryan told the court the deceased man had drugs in his system at the time of his death which "exacerbated his rage".

"I was not the instigator I was intruded upon in my own home," Lawler said in the letter to the court.

The court heard Lawler's three-year-old daughter was inside his house at the time of the killing.

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