A Brisbane woman who stabbed her husband to death because she was “angry and annoyed” that he got home late from work, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for manslaughter.
- Katie Anne Castel was initially charged with murder over her husband’s death in 2017
- She instead pleaded guilty to the domestic violence offence of manslaughter
- The court heard the woman had been “psychologically abusing” Mr Castel
Katie Anne Castel was initially charged with murdering Jarred Castel at their Chapel Hill property days before Christmas in 2017.
But the 38-year-old on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the domestic violence offence of manslaughter in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, after the prosecution could not establish an intent to kill.
Prosecutor Judith Geary said Mr Castel arrived home from work at 8:00pm, when his wife began an argument because she wanted him back two hours earlier.
The court heard it escalated and she threw a laptop at him and then picked up a large kitchen knife and scratched her wrists with it before throwing it at her husband.
The prosecution said it fatally struck the shirtless Mr Castel in the chest and pierced his heart.
“The depth of the wound was at least four centimetres,” Prosecutor Judith Geary said.
The court heard Ms Castel went to grab a towel to stop the bleeding and called triple zero.
Her husband was given medical treatment at the house but died a short time later in hospital.
The prosecution said Ms Castel deliberately threw the knife in an “unprovoked and unexpected” attack.
“She grabbed the weapon in circumstances where she was angry and annoyed,” Ms Geary said.
“He was not behaving in a threatening manner.”
The couple’s four-year-old son was in the house at the time.
The Crown described Ms Castel’s actions as “inexplicable and disproportionate” and said the results were catastrophic.
In a victim impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor, the victim’s father Anthony Castel said his son’s killing had created “relentless stress” for the family.
“Her actions killed him — we suffered the loss of our vibrant, kind and caring son,” Mr Castel said.
“But from Katie I hear no remorse, except for herself.”
Outside court, Anthony Castel said he and his friends still missed Jarred.
“From today we can actually go forward after losing him, we can start grieving,” Mr Castel said.
“I’d like to thank the justice system for helping us, we have a grandson now that we’ve got to protect, it doesn’t end today unfortunately for us.
“[Jarred] was a mischievous little boy, but we had some great times together.”
Jarred’s brother Ryan Castel said he was a very supportive man.
“He was a very giving and generous person and that’s been lost from the whole of the world,” he said.
Katie Castel was ‘psychologically abusing’ Jarred, court hears
Mr Castel’s two siblings told the court their brother’s wife had been “psychologically abusing” him and tried to alienate close friends and family.
Defence barrister Greg McGuire told the court his client had “extraordinary remorse” and said she was “frantic” at the crime scene.
“It was a stupid, dangerous act in a heated, silly argument,” Mr McGuire said.
During sentencing, Justice Jean Dalton said Ms Castel wrote her husband’s family a “peculiar” 12-page letter from custody, which expressed remorse in the first two pages.
“The letter [then] complains about your own circumstances in jail and the watchhouse,” she said.
The judge said it led her to doubt the defendant understood the consequences of her actions.
“It was extraordinary violence out of all proportion,” she said.
“He was in his home where he ought to have felt safe.”
Justice Dalton said she would not make a recommendation about Ms Castel’s parole.