A SENTENCE handed down in the Bunbury Supreme Court yesterday will see an Australind woman spend a maximum of five years behind bars.
Rachel Elizabeth Boyd was accused of the murder of her former boyfriend, Trent John Panizza, at their Australind home on January 28.
She was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter with a maximum sentence of five years and seven months jail time.
Boyd was accused of stabbing Mr Panizza in the chest after a heated argument in their kitchen.
Defence lawyer Linda Black argued Boyd did not stab Mr Panizza but he lunged towards her and into the knife.
In a police interview, Boyd said she was using the knife to ward off Mr Panizza, who she believed was trying to hurt her.
A jury of 12 took three hours to deliberate and found Boyd not guilty of the murder charge but guilty of the lower sentence of manslaughter.
The trial was expected to take five days but a verdict was reached on Thursday.
Judge delivers manslaughter verdict
In handing down Boyd’s sentence, Judge Stephen Hall said he “was satisfied it was a deliberate act”.
He said it was not plausible the Mr Panizza put himself on the blade.
Judge Hall sentenced Boyd to five years and seven months jail, which was back dated to March for the 230 days she had already served in jail.
Mr Panizza died of a single stab wound which entered his chest, missing both bone and cartridge and into his heart.
Defence lawyer Ms Black argued Boyd was suffering from sickness and depression at the time of the stabbing.
Black told the judge a range of examples why he should consider a reduced sentence for Boyd.
This included her clean criminal record, the fact she was fragile and unwell at the time, she did not have intent, she did not dispute the incident and participated in police interviews.
Ms Black told the court Boyd believed she did deserve to accept some punishment for what had happened.
Prosecutor Robert Wilson told the judge he did not believe violence was completely out of character for Boyd.
Judge Hall dismissed that claim, saying it was out of character and believed Boyd would not commit a similar offence.
Judge Hall delivered Boyd’s sentence at 5.30pm yesterday.
Family reaction after sentencing
Boyd’s family sat in composed silence in court when the sentence was delivered.
The Panizza family hugged and consoled each other after the manslaughter verdict and sentence.
The deceased’s father, John Panizza made a statement to media outside the court.
He said his late son was a thoughtful, caring and loving man.
“We would like to thank the jurors for making the right decision and sincerely thank the detectives who have worked on the case,” Mr Panizza said.
“People talk about closure, but we will never have any closure.
“Going to the hearings everyday was like going to a funeral everyday of the week.”
He also thanked his family and friends for putting their lives on hold to support his family during the hard times.
Mr Panizza’s wife Kaylene said the last nine months had been very tense and stressful.
“There are no winners in the end - we still don’t get Trent back.” Mrs Panizza said.
“That’s all we want and it’s not going to happen.”