‘Never too late to change’, says brutal stabber
A MAN who drunkenly attacked his partner with a knife nearby a Katherine domestic violence shelter had just months earlier been released from jail over an earlier attack on her, but says "it's never too late to change".
Damuel Jimmy, of Kalkaridji, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court on Thursday to negligently causing serious harm, breaching a domestic violence order and carrying a weapon in public. Jimmy had been banned from being around his on-again-off-again partner, Samara Smiler, for three years because of his repeated violence towards her, but began drinking with her in Katherine late last year.
Crown Prosecutor Damien Jones said a heated argument began after Jimmy accused Ms Smiler of having a fling with another man.
Jimmy pulled a kitchen knife he had stashed inside his "moon boot", having broken his ankle playing footy, and began waving it at Ms Smiler, who ended up with two deep wounds in her forearm.
The attack severed nerves and an artery.
The court heard Jimmy threw the knife over a nearby fence, called triple-0 and said: "I just stabbed my wife, I just stabbed her, it's an emergency."
The horrific attack was captured on the security cameras of a nearby women's' shelter.
Mr Jones said: "It was the offender's … decision to arm himself with the weapon in the context of a heated argument."
Jimmy's lawyer, Thomasin Opie, said: "It is conceded that he has a record and it's conceded that he has these (earlier) assaults on his record."
Ms Opie said a letter Jimmy wrote saying "it's never too late to change" showed he was insightful.
"He did a number of things right, he called the ambulance," Ms Opie said.
"He waited at the scene so that he could flag the ambulance down."
Ms Smiler is unable to flex her fingers and has lost sensation in her hand and arm.
Chief Justice Michael Grant said Jimmy had a "long and unfortunate history of violent offences against women" including Ms Smiler.
"I simply cannot accept that your conduct on this occasion was some kind of violent aberration," he said.
He said a previous rehab program Jimmy went to was only successful in that Jimmy "got to the end of it".
"It wasn't successful in addressing your use of alcohol".
Chief Justice Grant jailed Jimmy for two years and six months, with a 15 month non-parole period.