“Frenzy of passion” killer gets 8 years

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A Melbourne woman who stabbed her lesbian lover to death in a “frenzy of passion” has been jailed for eight years.

Justice Nettle told the court that Joanne Stenhouse was in a “love-hate relationship, in which you and the deceased appeared incapable of living peacefully together but incapable of living without each other.”

Ms Stenhouse stabbed her partner Anne Maher to death, on Easter Sunday last year.

Ms Stenhouse told the court that she had had argued with her partner of 16 years, and that they had both been drinking. Ms Maher, who she described as “big [and] loveable” started to dominate Ms Stenhouse, calling her a “lowlife” and a “dog”. Justice Nettle concluded that “you felt as though the deceased was taunting you and you wanted her to shut up. And so in that state of mind, you picked up a carving knife from the knife block in the kitchen where you were and stabbed her once in the chest”.

Ms Stenhouse immediately called an ambulance, and tried to revive her partner, but Ms Maher was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Though Ms Stenhouse was found not guilty of murder, she was found guilty of manslaughter by provocation. Sentencing her to 8 years in jail, Justice Nettles said: “the insults delivered during the course of Easter Sunday afternoon were … the straw that broke the camel’s back and sent you over the edge into a frenzy of rage and passion.”