Witness saw his “guts fall out” like a “bag of sausages”.
On January 30, 2017 Perth mother-of-two who stabbed her former husband near a busy playground, leaving him in need of more than 240 stitches, was jailed for 5½ years.
Michelle Allison Fernandez, 43, took a knife to to the foreshore in the Perth suburb of Shelly in October 2015 and used it to stab Mark Fernandez at least two times during a handover of one of their children.
Mr Fernandez’s injuries were so severe that a witness described watching his “guts fall out” like a “bag of sausages”.
The former nurse pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent but she was convicted of the charge after a five-day trial in January.
District Court Judge Michael Bowden acknowledged Fernandez was an intelligent and hard-working woman but said the attack was too serious for him to consider a suspended jail term.
“As you have been effected, so has the victim,” he said.
“It was traumatic, it was a brutal attack, it occurred at a public park in essence in the middle of the day.”
Judge Bowden found Fernandez took the knife to the park but did not form the intent to stab her ex until shortly before she lunged at him.
Mr Fernandez was attacked after he put their daughter in or next to his car and he was left with a 15cm wound that lacerated his bowel and a 10cm cut to his chest.
He put his hand around the knife after he was stabbed, seriously injuring his hand.
Mr Fernandez needed 105 stitches to his chest and abdomen and 138 stitches on other body parts.
He spent four months in a wheelchair and now says he has post-traumatic stress disorder.
Defence lawyer Tom Percy questioned the long-term impacts of the attack that Mr Fernandez said he suffered from when he wrote his victim impact statement.
Mr Percy told the court it was “unfortunate in the extreme” that the incident happened in the vicinity of children.
Fernandez will be eligible for parole after spending 3½ years behind bars.
Fernandez appealed the decision but the WA Court of appeal rejected her appeal, saying:
“The appellant's submissions do no more than identify that there was some evidence that was either contrary to the State case or that was consistent with the appellant's evidence. That is not enough to sustain a ground of appeal of this kind,” the appeal judgment found.
“The verdict of guilty is not unreasonable. It was amply supported by evidence that the jury was entitled to accept.”
Fernandez also appealed her five-and-a-half-year sentence, saying it was excessive.
But again, the court of appeal rejected the arguments.
“The appellant's offence was unquestionably serious. She deliberately used a dangerous weapon. She inflicted two major wounds. The attack was unprovoked. Her attack on the complainant caused serious life-threatening injuries and has had far-reaching and enduring consequences for him,” the court of appeal said.
“In our view, the sentence is well within the range of a proper exercise of the sentencing discretion.”