Coraki woman jailed over stabbing



A CORAKI woman has been jailed for at least five years for fatally stabbing her boyfriend at a caravan park in Northern NSW.

In jailing Sandra Dorothy Cavanough in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday, Justice Anthony Whealy accepted she hadn't intended to kill or seriously injure Stuart John Day.

He referred to a statement prepared by Mr Day's mother, Joy, who spoke of the family's shock and depression at their loss in such tragic circumstances.

"The mother's statement is an eloquent reminder to the court and to the community how a relatively trivial domestic dispute can bring about a situation of calamity and loss for the deceased and his family," the judge said.

"At the same time, the same situation can bring ruin and despair for the offender and her family, as it has done here."

Cavanough, 22, of Box Ridge at Coraki, was found not guilty by a Lismore jury of the murder of Mr Day, 34, at a Wooli caravan park in January last year.

But the jury found her guilty of manslaughter Cavanough had earlier attempted to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown refused to accept the plea and she faced trial for murder.

Justice Whealy noted Cavanough had admitted being violent towards Mr Day in the past, including hitting him with a cricket bat.

On the night of the stabbing, Mr Day had been minding some cash for Cavanough and the pair had been drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis.

The judge said Cavanough had followed Mr Day to a local club where he intended buying them some Chinese food.

In a number of angry outbursts at the club, Cavanough had demanded he return the money. Mr Day had ignored the requests, but did not appear to become violent or angry, the judge said.

Back at the caravan park, Mr Day again 'appeared to brush her requests aside'.

Cavanough stabbed him once, wounding him in the back. She told the jury she had intended only to cut him on the arm to show 'she was not mucking around'.

The judge sentenced her to a total of eight years and two months' jail, with a non-parole period of five years, meaning she will be eligible for release on parole in February, 2012. ? AAP



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