Judge: Law ‘failed’ woman who was killed by ex-partner
THE law failed to protect a mother-of-three who suffered years of abuse at the hands of her ex-partner before he eventually beat her and left her to die, a court has heard.
The woman's ex-partner, Lorenzo Deegan - aged 29 - was convicted of her negligent manslaughter and four counts of aggravated assault against her.
He was sentenced to 10 years' jail in the Darwin Supreme Court on Friday.
He was originally charged with the murder of the 29-year-old woman, who cannot be named for cultural reasons, after she was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his Katherine home at around 9am on June 18, 2019.
The court heard she had bled to death after Deegan punched her in the torso in the early hours of that morning during an argument, fracturing her rib and piercing her spleen.
He then left her to die over several hours without seeking medical assistance for her, before calling his mother, who called triple-0 at around 8.30am that morning.
The court heard Deegan and the victim had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for several years, during which time he was convicted twice of violent offences against her and a 72-year-old man she was staying with at the time.
In May last year, just months after being released from prison for the latter offence, the court heard Deegan began trying to find out where the victim was staying and sending her threatening text messages.
He then tracked her down in Darwin, forced her to return to Katherine with him and brutally assaulted her four separate times in the weeks leading up to her death.
During sentencing, Supreme Court Justice Judith Kelly apologised to the family of the woman saying she deserved to "have a voice."
"I wanted to extend my sympathy to the victim's family," she said.
"This woman, in my view, suffered greatly and deserves to have a voice."
She said violence against Aboriginal women was prevalent in the Territory.
"Vulnerable women deserve what protection the law can give them," Justice Kelly said. "Unfortunately it failed to protect (the victim)."
Deegan will be eligible for parole after serving six years.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
NEW SOUTH WALES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
Originally published as Judge: Law 'failed' woman who was killed by ex-partner