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Archive for the ‘COUPLES FAMILY’ Category

A live-streamed trial for former Perth man Henri van Breda, charged with murdering his family with an axe, will appear in a South African court on Monday

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Teresa van Breda, 55, her husband Martin van Breda‚ 54‚ and their eldest son Rudi‚ 22, were found dead at their home on the De Zalze Golf Estate in January 2015.

Mr van Breda was found there with minor injuries alongside sister Marli, then 16, who survived massive head injuries and a severed jugular. She now has brain injuries retrograde amnesia but is reportedly on the list of more than 100 people to testify in the case.

Mr van Breda, 21, handed himself in to Stellenbosch Police station with his attorney in June. He was charged with three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and another of obstructing justice and was released on bail.

The case has attracted global attention, with the first appearance given rolling coverage from South Africa’s News 24 and other local outlets.

Australian media was also at the Western Cape High Court on on Monday, where Judge Siraj Desai has granted an application by Media24 to live-stream the trial, which will begin about 8.15pm Perth time.

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LIONEL Patea has been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal killing of his ex-girlfriend Tara Brown on a suburban Gold Coast street. Queensland Australia

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Earlier, the court heard Patea had ordered his aunt — the mother of singer Ricki-Lee Coulter — to deny Tara Brown access to their child in the days before he brutally killed his ex-girlfriend. A court has also heard Patea phoned the child’s daycare centre to ask one question before carrying out his brutal slaying.

Coulter’s mother, Loretta Sheerin, was babysitting Ms Brown’s young daughter in the days before she was killed.

A supporter of Tara Brown’s family holds a photo of the murdered woman outside court in Brisbane image www.crimefiles.net

A supporter of Tara Brown’s family holds a photo of the murdered woman outside court in Brisbane today. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

Patea has pleaded guilty to Ms Brown’s murder and will be sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court this afternoon.

The court was told during sentencing submissions this morning that Patea commanded his aunt, named in court as Ms Sheerin, not to let Ms Brown see their child while he was in Gladstone for work.

But Ms Sheerin allowed Ms Brown to stay the night and visit the child.

In the days following, Ms Brown applied for domestic violence and child custody orders and was living in a safe house away from the Gold Coast.

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On September 6, she returned to the Gold Coast to stay with a friend and was looking for a rental home to “get her life back in order”.

Interim custody orders with Patea were finalised soon after, and the court was told they were served on Patea’s lawyer on September 7.

About 8am the next the day, Patea phoned Aria’s childcare and asked if she would be attending today.

“It was confirmed that she was,” crown prosecutor Carl Heaton QC said.

Patea chased Ms Brown as she drove away from the daycare, ran her off the road and bashed her to death.

Justice Debra Mullins will hand down her sentence from 2.30pm.

Guilty plea in Tara Brown murder trial

EARLIER: Triple 0 call reveals horror of Tara’s death

LIONEL Patea has pleaded guilty to the murder of his former girlfriend Tara Brown.

Ms Brown, 24, died after Patea ran her off the road in a suburban Gold Coast street in September, 2015.

Tara Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton receives comfort by a supporter outside Brisbane Supreme Court.image www.crimefiles.net

Tara Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton receives comfort by a supporter outside Brisbane Supreme Court.

As she lay trapped in the car, Patea viciously beat her with a cast-iron water hydrant cover.

Ms Brown had just dropped their daughter, Aria, off at childcare when the shocking attack unfolded.

Patea entered guilty pleas to murder, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and unlawful use of a motor vehicle shortly after 10am this morning, before his trial was scheduled to start.

Gold Coast lawyer Campbell MacCallum made a statement outside court on behalf is his client.

In the statement, Patea said he accepted “full responsibility” for his actions.

“I do this with the full support of my family who have encouraged me in my decision to face up to my actions and provide closure for the Brown family,” Mr MacCallum read.

“I do not want to cause Tara’s family further pain.

“I accept without hesitation the punishment imposed upon me by the justice system.”

Earlier, in court, Ms Brown’s mother Natalie Hinton wept as Patea was brought into the dock wearing a navy suit, white shirt and black tie.

It is understood Ms Brown made a harrowing Triple 0 call before her death, which was to be a key piece of evidence in the trial.

The young mum suffered critical head injuries and died the next day in hospital.

Patea’s sentencing hearing has begun, with evidence heard of the brave witnesses who attempted to stop Patea’s brutal actions.

One man, who lived in a nearby home, had helped Patea to get into the car after he ran Ms Brown off the road, believing he was trying to help her. He couldn’t have imagined what would happen next.

Crown prosecutor Carl Heaton QC has told the court Patea began beating Ms Brown with the cover of a water hydrant

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Ms Brown was on the phone to Triple 0 at the time and the attack was recorded.

Mr Heaton said 16 “thumps” are heard on the audio, and then a female witness can be heard saying: “what the f**k are you doing”.

There are another 13 “thumps”, Mr Heaton said, “followed by silence”.

The female witness jumped on Patea’s back at one stage and later stood between him and Ms Brown as she lay trapped in the car and told him to “piss off”.

The male witness had tried to pull him from Ms Brown and phone police, to no avail.

Her death sent shockwaves through the nation, and that grief was compounded when just two days later a Karina Lock was murdered by her husband at the Helensvale McDonald’s.

The domestic violence murders sparked calls from the community for the State Government to act.


National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800 RESPECT.

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A Queensland Australia couple have each been given life in prison for the sadistic torture and murder of mother-of-four Tia Landers.

Drug supplier John Edward Harris and his partner Linda Eileen Appleton were sentenced in Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Friday after pleading guilty to murdering Ms Landers in a brutal and bloody encounter at their Brighton home in June 2014.

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Tia Landers’ body was discovered, wrapped in a blanket, in a shallow grave at Beerburrum State Forest with 30 wounds. Photo: Facebook

Harris will have to spend at least 27 years behind bars before being eligible for parole, while Appleton must serve at least 23 years.

Justice Jean Dalton ordered their parole eligibility to be set beyond the statutory 20-year minimum for the “sadistic” killing, where Ms Landers was cut with a machete, bashed, kicked, stomped, and then twice shot in the head.

“The offending involved a protracted, sadistic and brutal torturing of Ms Landers over a period of hours,” Justice Dalton said.

The motivation for the killing, she said, stemmed from Appleton’s suspicion Ms Landers was having an affair with Harris, and stealing her clothes and jewellery.

Justice Dalton said Appleton was so obsessed with the idea of revenge that she began plotting it from inside jail seven days before Ms Landers’ killing.

A letter of apology from the 43-year-old was given to the Landers family on Friday, but Justice Dalton said she had great difficulty reconciling it with the evidence.

Appleton and 44-year-old Harris, who at one point held hands in the dock during sentencing, initially pleaded not guilty to the murder but reversed their pleas after five days of evidence in their trial.

It followed guilty pleas to interfering with her corpse and depriving the liberty of two men, Jake McKenzie and Ryan Morgan.

During the trial, Mr McKenzie told the court a fight had escalated at the couple’s home after Appleton slashed open Ms Landers’ leg with a machete.

Harris eventually retrieved a gun and shot her in the head, but she was “still alive enough to say no” before being fired on a second time.

During sentencing, the court heard Harris had previously been jailed for manslaughter in a case with striking similarities to Ms Landers’ murder.

In that case, the victim’s body was also wrapped up and dumped in the Beerburrum forest.

In a powerful victim impact statement read out in court, Ms Landers’ mother Mary said it was difficult to convey how the brutal crime had affected her life.

“There are no words adequate to describe the pain, anger and despair that I have felt from her murder,” she wrote.

“I have lost my faith and trust in people. I have trouble finding joy in the simple pleasures of life.”

Outside court, Haley Matthews said no sentence for her cousin’s brutal killing would be enough for her family.

“While Harris and Appleton were handed life sentences … this in our opinion is not justice,” she said.

“The only people who have received life sentences today are those who loved Tia, especially her children.”

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Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand: The naked bodies of two British tourists have been found on a Thai beach, sparking a murder probe on the popular resort island of Koh Tao.

The pair had attended a beach party with drinks and fire dancers on this resort island 250 kilometres south of Bangkok before they were hacked to death with a hoe.

“It was a great party, it’s normally what they’ve had every night…it’s a bit more relaxed than compared to Koh Samui,” said Lisa Hartley, a British-born tourist who lives in Melbourne, who attended the party.

bodies of two British tourists found murdered on a Thai beach image www.crimefiles.net

Thai officers work near the bodies of two British tourists found murdered on a Thai beach. 

Police say the near-naked bodies of 23 year-old Hannah Victoria Witheridge from Norfolk in the UK and 24 year-old David William Miller from Jersey were discovered shortly after dawn on Monday at a quiet end of Sai Ree beach on Koh Tao, one of Thailand’s most popular diving destinations.

A bloodied hoe was discovered 35 metres from the bodies.

“It happened right there,” Ms Hartley said, pointing to a sandy spot hidden by rocks beside a small canal.

Killed British tourist Hannah Witheridge image www.crimefiles.net

Killed: British tourist Hannah Witheridge. Photo: Facebook

On Monday night, broken strands of orange police tape draped in the sand off coconut trees marked the death scene.

There was little to light the alcove hidden behind rocks.

Police Major-General Kiattipong Khawsamang told reporters the man was hit with the hoe on the side of the head while the woman was hit in the face.

“It’s very gruesome,” he said.

Forensic tests will be carried out to establish if either was sexually assaulted.

Police said Mr Miller and Ms Witheridge were staying at the same hotel but had travelled separately to Koh Tao.

Ms Witheridge arrived on the island with three other friends on August 25.

Closed circuit television footage showed the pair left a bar together about 1am.

“We don’t know who the suspect might be but we have talked to different witnesses who might lead us to some clues,” Major-General Kiattipong said.

About 50 people attended the beach party while about 2,000 people live on the island that survives on tourism.

Check-points have been set-up across the island which is a quieter destination than the neighbouring Koh Phangan which is famous for its “full moon” beach rave parties where drug taking, alcohol abuse and violence is rife and criminals often target young foreign tourists.

Ms Hartley, who is staying in an apartment directly next to the murder scene, said the first she and her travelling partner Tammy Maskill, also from Melbourne, knew of what had happened was when they woke up to see the body bags and blood on the sand.

“Everyone is sleeping in the same room tonight,” she told Fairfax Media, adding the killings had shaken visitors on the island.

“We’ve had an amazing stay here. We were so grateful to have a beautiful beach next to us, and the people have been so nice,” Ms Hartley said.

Ms Maskill said her friends had spent much of the day in their rooms and had called their families to let them know they were OK.

“It’s a little bit more sombre today. We didn’t want to go down to the beach,” she said.

The crime scene is at the end of a row of beach bars, dive shops, massage parlours and open-air restaurants that cater to the backpacker and scuba diving crowd.

On Monday night, couples still wandered hand-in-hand down the yellow brick road, as it’s known locally.

Divers gathered in shops to debrief about their day and watch videos, while backpackers sank Tiger beers in the bars.

But the island is awash with talk about the deaths and locals are upset about a host of rumours swirling around on the internet, including an incorrect one that all ferries and boats from the island had been cancelled.

The night before Sai Ree beach was an oasis.

Fairy lights wound around coconut trees cast a soft light over the sand. People relaxed quietly on bean bags, a drink in hand, and watched the sun set over the water.

Long boats dropped anchor after a day at one of the island’s many dive sights, and scuba divers waded to the shore carrying boxes of equipment with them. One man cast a silhouette on the water as he tinkered with the motor of his boat, his back to the setting sun.

Ms Maskill said she did not think it would affect tourism on the island, which is also known as Turtle Island.

“It could happen anywhere, it’s just that it’s a small island.”

The attack came amid attempts by Thailand’s military dominated government to revive the country’s tourism industry after a coup in May.

Martial law banning gatherings of more than five people remains in place across the country.

– with Lindsay Murdoch, Bangkok

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BIG MOUTH MUTTERINGS TO HIMSELF LED TO MURDER CONVICTION

For more than 20 years, he got away with the murder of his wife. Then he started talking to himself about the case.

Cold case unit detectives had bugged John Vincent McDonald’s home in 2007 and recorded the conversations he was having with himself about the murder.
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McDonald, 72, of Sunbury, was found guilty in 2011 of murdering his wife Marlene in December 1986, after he recruited three men to kidnap her from her Reservoir home before he killed her, or had her killed. The 36-year-old mother of five has not been seen since.

Marlene McDonald was aged 36 when she vanished.Marlene McDonald was aged 36 when she vanished. Photo: Supplied

Today, McDonald lost his application for leave to appeal the conviction.

The Court of Appeal’s Justice Peter Buchanan, Justice Phillip Priest and Justice Paul Coghlan unanimously dismissed the application.

In his overview of the case, Justice Priest said Marlene McDonald had disappeared during the weekend of December 13 and 14, 1986.

Marlene McDonald.
Marlene McDonald.

Her car was found at the Truck City restaurant and cafe on the Hume Highway at Campbellfield, where she had been working as a waitress.

The judge said police had investigated Mrs McDonald’s disappearance as a missing persons case, with no result.

“The case was not investigated with the thoroughness it deserved,” Justice Priest said.

The case was later re-opened as a ‘cold case’ in 2003 and again in 2007 and, as part of the investigation, McDonald was questioned and listening devices were installed in his car and his house.

In 2008, a fingerprint taken from McDonald’s car was identified as belonging to Gregory Bone. Bone was one of three men who pleaded guilty to kidnapping Mrs McDonald.

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During McDonald’s trial, the court heard the couple had separated 13 months before Mrs McDonald vanished, following what had been a violent relationship and McDonald had been unable to move on. He became furious when his estranged wife wanted custody of their children and developed a “jealous obsession” about her seeing other men.

“Perhaps the most unusual feature of this case was that the applicant (McDonald) frequently conversed with himself out loud,” Justice Priest said.

“In so doing, he revealed his thinking.

“Subjects of his discourse with himself included his wife’s disappearance and what might have happened to her.

“He rehearsed and role-played conversations he might have with the police, and he speculated as to the nature of the evidence they may find that could implicate him.

“Since listening devices had been installed in his car and his home, the jury were able to listen to these ruminations.”

Justice Priest said excerpts of the recordings played to the jury included soliloquies in which:

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McDonald demonstrated his animosity towards Mrs McDonald.

McDonald displayed knowledge of the circumstances of the abduction which he could have only possessed if he was involved.

McDonald referred to ‘Bino’ (Donald Binion, one of the kidnappers) when police had no idea Bino was involved in the abduction.

McDonald referred to Bino making up a story.

McDonald referred to Mrs McDonald’s body being found in the Kinglake mountains and the Mount Disappointment area.

McDonald expressed concern about the possibility of his DNA being found on items linked to the kidnapping.

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McDonald referred to a “shallow grave” and to cameras being set up at a grave site.

Justice Priest said McDonald’s defence was that there was no evidence Mrs McDonald was dead because there was no body and suggested it was plausible that she could have run off with a truck driver or, if she had been killed, someone else could have done it.

One of the many lies McDonald told police was when he suggested that Maria Korp — who he knew was the wife of his cricket friend Joe Korp — had seen Mrs McDonald interstate.

But Mrs Korp’s daughter Laura De Gois testified at the trial that her mother had never been to Queensland.

Mrs Korp was killed in 2005 by Korp’s lover, Tania Herman. Korp later killed himself before he was tried over her attempted murder.

The three appeal judges said today they did not believe there had been any miscarriage of justice in McDonald’s murder conviction and dismissed his application for leave to appeal.

“In the circumstances, any suggestion that he did not kill her (Mrs McDonald) , or arrange for her death, is fanciful,” Justice Priest concluded.
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AFGHANISTAN JUSTICE FOR ADULTRESS-PUBLICLY EXECUTED BY HUSBAND
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Executed … this frame grab shows Najiba (centre) sitting at the edge of a ditch shortly before being executed after being accused of adultery with a Taliban commander. Photo: AFP/Parwan Provincial Government

There sure is nothing like a public execution to arouse the dear public. Two hundred years ago, we’d be pushing our way to the front of the gallows or the guillotine’s platform just to hear the crack of the neck being snapped or to gasp as the doomed head bounced into its basket. If providence allowed, we’d even get close enough to spit in the face of the condemned.

The king/crook/traitor is dead! Hooray!

But, now, with our supersonic laptops and co-joined online lives, we can sit in private, trembling with pre-emptive disgust, and watch as those arousing words:  “This video contains images with may distress some viewers” scroll onto our screen.

Like that genre of film called Horror that encourages us to enjoy the murder and dismemberment of various poor sods, we squint and hide behind fingers but, as our bravery grows, we drop the pretence of shock.

And, here, we see the young woman by the ditch gunned down by the furious cuckold, his grey-speckled beard suggesting there was quite the age diff between he and his 22-year-old wife.

Of course, we don’t need a gang of religious zealots in a backward craphole to tell us that old men marrying young gals always ends badly.
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Can you imagine the awkward conversations? Old guy remembers, with a beatific smile, the nineties, like before the Americans came and screwed up everything, when any Taliban could freely fire his Kalishnikov into any woman who flashed a friendly smile or was stupid enough to walk to school.

Get with the times, Mr Afghan man!

A far as deaths go, it was completely different to the way America dispatches its condemned: 20 years on death row, appeal after appeal before, finally, a fat-saturated last meal and a couple of guards trying to find a arterial highway for their killer cocktail.

After the grainy video footage was posted on every news portal online, the usual pious chorus erupted. Barbaric, brutal, un-Islamic etc.

Blah..Blah…etc

I just can’t believe anyone is shocked anymore about what happens in kooky, tribal, medieval Afghanistan. Men are bad screwed up enough about women and sex in the hip, open west as it is, let alone in the land time forgot.

Yesterday, a Sydney man was found not guilty of murder after knifing a man he found tooling his wife. Like, express disappointment at their behaviour or maybe, in the fire of fury, punch the man in the nose, but to kill someone for adultery? And then for the killer to go unpunished? Hoo! Sounds like Afghanistan!

Does anyone really believe the $17 billion allocated a couple of days ago by the world’s powers toward civilian aid and to the advancement of women’s rights in Afghanistan, will do anything except maybe line the treasure caves of various warlords?

In 2014, when we finally split the joint, it’ll be biz as usual: public executions in stadiums, the poisoning of little girls, honour killings etc.

Get used to it. And enjoy online!
LoveTEFL

Dead … this frame grab shows Najiba dead seconds after being shot by a man in an execution condemned by the Afghan government as un-Islamic and inhuman. Photo: AFP/Parwan Provincial Government

“Within one hour they decided that she was guilty and sentenced her to death. They shot her in front of villagers in her village, Qol,” she said, adding that the execution took place late last month.

Following the shooting, a villager handed the video over to the provincial government and “the security forces are preparing a big operation to find the culprits”, she said.

The video opens with the woman, wrapped in a grey shawl, sitting at the edge of a ditch in a village surrounded by dozens of men, some perched on rooftops for a better view.

Watching ... this frame grab shows a gathering of people watching the execution by gunfire of a woman married to a member of a hardline Taliban militant group.
Watching … this frame grab shows a gathering of people watching the execution by gunfire of a woman married to a member of a hardline Taliban militant group. Photo: AFP/Parwan Provincial Government

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As she sits with her back to the crowd a bearded man is seen reading verses from the Koran condemning adultery, before saying: “We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her. Juma Khan, her husband, has the right to kill her.”

He approaches to within a couple of metres of the woman, says “Allahu akhbar” (God is greater), aims and fires twice, missing each time. The third shot hits her in the back, she flings her arms wide and collapses.

He then fires another six shots into her body as the crowd cheers wildly, shouting “Long live Islam”, “Long live mujahideen (holy warriors)”. The gunman then fires four more shots into her body.

The government issued a statement on Sunday saying it “strongly condemns this un-Islamic and inhuman action by those professional killers and has ordered the Parwan police to find the culprits and bring them to justice”

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The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission also expressed outrage. Its executive director Mohammad Musa Mahmodi said: “We condemn any killings done without proper trial. It is non-Islamic and against all human rights values.”

Hague shocked and disgusted

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday he was “shocked and disgusted” by reports that the Taliban had executed the woman.

The British government condemned the “deplorable” action and called upon Afghanistan’s rulers to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I am shocked and disgusted by [the] reports,” Mr Hague said. “Such deplorable actions underline the vital need for better protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.”

He explained that the British government was working with its Afghan counterparts, NGOs and international partners to improve the status of women in Afghanistan.
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Clinton makes plea for women

The killing came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a powerful plea on Sunday for the rights of women in Afghanistan, using a global forum to insist that they must be part of the country’s future growth.

Mrs Clinton, who was addressing a world conference in Tokyo on Afghanistan’s future, said: “The United States believes strongly that no nation can achieve peace, stability and economic growth if half the population is not empowered.”

She said the way forward “must include fighting corruption, improving governance, strengthening the rule of law [and providing] access to economic opportunity for all Afghans, especially for women”.

“All citizens need to have the chance to benefit from and contribute to Afghanistan’s progress. The United States will continue to stand strongly by the women of Afghanistan,” she added.

But the execution video could renew concerns that Kabul is not doing enough to protect women, particularly from so-called honour killings, which were common during the Taliban regime that ruled from 1996 to 2001.

The Taliban have since waged an insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai, which is supported by about 130,000 NATO troops.

According to figures provided by the US State Department, out of the 8 million students enrolled in schools today, nearly 40 per cent are girls. That contrasts sharply with 2002 when there were only 900,000 children in schools, virtually none of them girls.

The US says there are now 175,000 teachers in Afghanistan, about a third of them women, thanks to $US316 million ($310 million) spent on education initiatives.

US officials said Mrs Clinton had raised the issue of women’s rights with Mr Karzai during her brief visit to Kabul on Saturday, warning that they were a litmus test for the country’s progress.

The Tokyo talks have raised pledges of $US16 billion in civilian aid for the conflict-torn nation over the next four years.

Representatives from more than 80 nations and international organisations gathering in the Japanese capital later adopted the “Tokyo Declaration”, pledging support and cash for Kabul.
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A court was told how a woman was repeatedly stabbed by her ex in a joint suicide claim

A woman has told a court how her ex-boyfriend, a former contestant on Australian Survivor, tried to kill her and himself, telling her he “wanted to die together so we could be together for eternity”.

Samantha Holland jumped off the balcony of the third floor apartment she shared with Joel Betts in a desperate attempt to save her life after he stabbed her repeatedly in the back and neck on April 17, 2010.

Betts, 32, a socialite, who became a Foxtel presenter after appearing on Channel Nine’s Australian Survivor, pleaded guilty in February to wounding with intent to murder Ms Holland

Broadcaster Alan Jones will support the accused whilst he is in jail awaiting sentence

During a sentencing hearing at the Sydney District Court on Friday, Ms Holland was shaking but composed as she described how Betts tried to stop her from leaving their Chippendale unit.

“I’m still haunted by the look in his eyes as he towered over me and stabbed me in the neck,” she said.

Betts told the court he endured a traumatic childhood at the hands of his violent stepfather and was in financial difficulty in the lead-up to the attack.

He and Ms Holland, then 23, had broken up, and she had gone to the apartment to collect her belongings when he confronted her, asking her to stay.

When she refused, he stabbed her up to eight times before turning the knife on himself, inflicting serious wounds to his stomach. He then stabbed her a further 20 times.

Betts said during the 1½-hour attack, Ms Holland agreed with him that they should die together, but he now realised she said it only in an attempt to escape.

He said a note found in the apartment that read, “you know that I love you but I hate you because I know I can never replace you”, was in fact lyrics from a Bon Jovi song he was learning on the guitar a week earlier, and not an indication that the attack was premeditated.

“It was very spontaneous,” he said of picking up the knife and stabbing her.

However, he said he pleaded guilty as he accepted that for a “fleeting moment” he intended to murder her.

Her clothing soaked in blood, she fled to the third-floor balcony, slipping and falling on to the balcony of the unit below before finally escaping to safety.

Broadcaster Alan Jones said he had known Betts for 10 years and had met Betts in the week of the attack to give advice on a business he was developing that linked charities and the corporate sector.

Jones said he would continue to support Betts while he was in jail.

“I have seen these things in Shakespearean plays. It just happens. I know he is unbelievably emotional and regretful when he talks about it.”

Betts will be sentenced at a later date.

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