Monday, May 2, 2016

Community Safety Manslaughter Family Violence Female Aggression Ringwood, Melbourne Woman Lisa Marie Clark found Guilty of Manslaughter will serve a minimum term of three years in prison for fatally stabbing her Male Cousin Rodney Clark abc.net.au/news July 30th 2015


A Melbourne mother-of-three who claimed self-defence in the fatal stabbing of her violent cousin has been jailed for five years.


Clark will serve a minimum term of three years in prison.

Melbourne mother sentenced to five years jail for fatally stabbing violent cousin in 'self-defence'

Updated 30 Jul 2015, 3:01pm
A Melbourne mother-of-three who claimed self-defence in the fatal stabbing of her violent cousin has been jailed for five years.
The Victorian Supreme Court heard Lisa Clark described to police "something just clicking" when she picked up a large kitchen knife and stabbed Rodney Clark in the doorway of her family's Ringwood home last year.
The court heard Mr Clark had previously attacked the 40-year-old by striking her in the face three times, and had become embroiled in an argument with her former partner after arriving at the house intoxicated.
A small child was also at the home.
Clark pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this year.
In sentencing, Justice Lex Lasry accepted Clark was frightened of her cousin and acted impulsively when she stabbed the 44-year-old and ran back into the house, leaving the knife embedded in his chest.
Neighbours reported screaming and yelling coming from the home and Mr Clark died at the scene before paramedics arrived.
The court heard Clark was part-indigenous and was raised by her grandparents.
You were certainly wary and frightened of the deceased man
Justice Lex Lasry
Her mother took her own life when she was 14-years old, and she spent long periods of time at railway stations and dabbling in drugs, the court heard.
Her grandfather was described as a regular heavy drinker who often had violent confrontations with her grandmother and it was often the children in the home who tried to break up the violence.
Clark's grandfather was also abusive towards her.
The court heard Clark had also been the victim of racism and education was "a struggle" after she acquired a brain injury in a childhood accident.
Although she described her cousin as "like a brother", she also said he was a violent person and a woman basher" and claimed self-defence in the killing.
"This is a very serious and tragic accident," Justice Lasry told Clark.
"Your actions were spontaneous and emotional."

Clark 'deserving of an opportunity'

Justice Lasry said a character reference from her employer at an aged-care home spoke of Clark's empathy and compassion and noted she felt valued in the role.
He said he was in no doubt Clark felt deep remorse for her cousin's death.
"I do accept that at the time of this offence, apart from being fatigued, you were depressed and your functioning was affected by your mental state," Justice Lasry told Clark.
"You were certainly wary and frightened of the deceased man.
"I do place significant weight on your deprived background...apart from your mental state it is not surprising that someone who has suffered the emotional turmoil you have in the early stages of life finds coping with stressful situations difficult."
Clark was supported in court by several family members.
Justice Lasry said Clark had been portrayed as "committed to your family with many good qualities, particularly as a mother".
"The deceased had been violent toward you on previous occasions and you were not well equipped to handle the emotional aggression you encountered," he said.
"You are remorseful, you pleaded guilty and you have good prospects for a life beyond this case."
"You are a woman with a supportive family and plenty of life left to live. I think you are someone deserving of an opportunity."
Clark will serve a minimum term of three years in prison.
First posted 30 Jul 2015, 1:39pm

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