true crime

Man who stabbed his girlfriend to death, then turned the knife on himself jailed for 20 years.

By Antoinette Lattouf.

A Wollongong man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death outside his parents’ home has been sentenced to 20 years in jail with a non-parole period of 15 years.

Michael James Quinn was left a quadriplegic after turning the knife on himself during the frenzied 2013 attack.

He will be eligible for parole in September 2030.

The 25-year-old victim, Cherie Vize, had broken up with Quinn days before she was murdered.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Robert Beech-Jones said Quinn’s actions were a “cowardly and vicious attack” on a young woman who had decided to leave the relationship for another man.

Justice Beech-Jones said he took Quinn’s mental health into consideration. Quinn had lived with obsessive compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder since 2007.

“I accept that he was suffering from an abnormality of mind but … I don’t accept that his judgment of what is right and wrong was significantly impaired,” Justive Beech-Jones said.

The victim’s mother wept in court as the sentence was handed down.

Outside court, Ms Vize’s mother told ABC news she was “relieved that it’s all over”.

Quinn will be eligible for parole in September 2030.

“I have no doubt a jail sentence will seem like an eternity to Mr Quinn having only his mind to contend with,” Justice Beech-Jones said.

Quinn was convicted of murder in September, despite his lawyers’ argument he had only intended to harm himself and accidentally stabbed his girlfriend during a struggle.

Quinn’s trial heard he phoned Ms Vize 227 times in the 11 days before he killed her, and that he rang her family home so often that Ms Vize’s mother had to disconnect their phone.

Psychiatric evidence showed Quinn also suffered a borderline personality disorder, but doctors could not determine what was going through his mind at the time of the stabbing or whether any planning was involved.

During sentencing submissions last month, Quinn’s defence barrister Janet Manuell said her client had punished himself more than a court could, and he would “be for the rest of his life imprisoned within his body”.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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