Mango Hill stabber says eight-year jail term is ‘excessive’
A Mango Hill man jailed for fatally stabbing his lover's jilted partner during a violent struggle has appealed his sentence.
Darren James Lawler argued his eight year jail term was too harsh and a serious violent offence declaration was not warranted but the Court of Appeal quickly threw out his bid for a new sentence.
The 37-year-old was sentenced to eight years' jail last year for the manslaughter of Paul Shannon Andrews.
Andrews was stabbed during a violent confrontation outside Lawler's Mango Hill home in July 2018, spurred by suspicions his partner Tiffany Baker was having an affair with Lawler.
Fuelled by a toxic combination of alcohol and methylamphetamine, Mr Andrews hid behind bushes outside the home waiting to ambush the pair.
Both men began to fight and during the struggle, Lawler stabbed Andrews five times with a military-style knife.
Lawler claimed his sentence was "manifestly excessive" and sentencing judge Justice Peter Davies erred by imposing a serious violent offence declaration.
His defence barrister Simon Hamlyn-Harris said Lawler was lawfully exiting his home when he was attacked and forced "without warning, to defend himself" - a factor which would "significantly reduce" the overall criminality of his actions.
Mr Hamlyn-Harris said it would be "artificial and unrealistic" to suggest Lawler had "any opportunity to reflect on his response to the deceased's actions" and there was no warrant for a serious violent offence declaration.
Justice Elizabeth Wilson dismissed the appeal, saying Lawler had initially acted in self-defence but the further attack with the knife was "extremely violent".
She said the violent circumstances aggravated the offence to justify the imposition of a serious violent offence declaration.
"The applicant's production of the knife turned what may have been a fair fight into certainly an unfair one," Justice Wilson said.
"It is not enough to demonstrate that the sentence was severe or that a lesser punishment would have been appropriate or more appropriate than the one... imposed."
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Mango Hill stabber says eight-year jail term is 'excessive'