But after that first punch, Sandra picked up a knife. And it’s that act of defence that’s allowed her husband to slash his prison sentence to just 16 years on retrial.
Initially convicted in 2018 of murder and ordered to serve the rest of his life behind bars, the 41-year-old had his murder conviction tossed out on appeal.
In a 2021 retrial, he was able to prove that he was ‘provoked.’
She swore at him.
She refused to speak about the alleged affair she’d been having.
He was left with a cut on his hand while trying to disarm her of the knife she’d picked up to defend herself.
He proceeded to carry out a sustained attack of violence. Sandra was wounded at least 29 times before she finally died, and that was even after she had a knife tip lodged in her skull from one of his swipes.
When he finally crushed her skull with a concrete bollard, she was cowering behind a car outside their home just north of Brisbane.
According to a court of law, Peniamina is guilty of manslaughter not murder all because of an ancient defence that many other states in Australia have abolished.
Professor Douglas is of the opinion that provocation is an outdated defence that doesn’t fit with our modern life, primarily because it blames the victim in part.
As Professor Douglas explains, the defence still exists in Queensland because of an unwillingness by the Queensland parliament to remove the mandatory penalty of life in prison for murder. Due to the constraints of that mandatory sentence, it was decided that the defence was needed for those who genuinely deserve relief from mandatory life imprisonment.