A Farmborough Heights man who stabbed his estranged girlfriend to death before turning the knife on himself, leaving him a quadriplegic, has failed to have his murder conviction overturned on appeal.
The NSW Supreme Court found Michael James Quinn, 27, fatally stabbed Cherie Vize, 25, in the neck on the front lawn of his family home in 2013 after she tried to end their volatile relationship.
Quinn then stabbed himself with the intention of ending his own life, however he ultimately survived his wounds, but can no longer move his body from the neck down.
Quinn pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, claiming he had been the one trying to end the relationship and he’d accidentally inflicted the fatal wounds on Ms Viz during a struggle as she tried to stop him from stabbing himself in the chest.
His defence team argued that even if his actions were found to be deliberate, Quinn may have been so substantially impaired at the time that his charge could be reduced from murder to manslaughter.
The Crown argued that Quinn was in a jealous rage after learning about Ms Vize's relationship with another man and was determined to kill her and then himself.
In his September 2016 judgement, Justice Robert Beech-Jones sided with prosecutors, saying he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Quinn had formed an intention to kill Ms Vize and then himself.
He also said that he found Quinn's claim that he wanted to end their relationship was “implausible” and incompatible with “the overwhelming weight of other evidence” and he had been “untruthful” and “unreliable” in the witness stand.
Quinn legal team launched a two-pronged appeal against the decision: first, they claimed Justice Beech-Jones had been wrong in finding their client guilty of murder.
Second, they said should the court find the verdict was correct, Quinn’s sentence of 15 years behind bars was “manifestly excessive”.
In a judgement handed down in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal last Friday, justice Des Fagan, Richard White and Clifton Hoeben found Justice Beech-Jones had been correct in convicting Quinn.
“The applicant killed his partner with an intention to kill,” the trio wrote.
“It was a serious example of the infliction of extreme violence upon women.”
They also refused to reduce Quinn’s sentence, saying it had been a lenient one given the seriousness of his crimes. They also noted while Quinn had expressed his sorrow for his actions, they couldn’t find he was remorseful.
Quinn will become eligible for parole in 2030. His sentence will expire in 2035.