Killer’s Sentence Reduced:
A man who stabbed his wife to death after she hired a private investigator to track his movements has had three years knocked off his minimum sentence.
Killer Stephen McPhee was originally jailed for 20 years, with a minimum of 16, over the brutal murder of his wife Cathy in 2011.
Today, that sentence was reduced by the Court of Appeal to 18 years with a non-parole period of 13 years after being deemed manifestly excessive.
McPhee, who appeared via video link, had already served 568 days in prison over the attack.
The respected shearer stabbed his wife to death after she told him she no longer loved him.
“I grabbed a knife and walked over and stabbed her. I just snapped,” he later told a psychologist.
McPhee admitted he had become enraged because his wife had wanted a trial separation.
It was the first time he had assaulted her, the Supreme Court sitting in Mildura heard in October last year.
He had been happily married to Mrs McPhee since 2005, but their relationship began to sour in 2011.
It was a second marriage for both, and the mother of four had grown sick of her husband’s increasing alcohol consumption.
She also suspected him of having an affair with a colleague.
She hired a private investigator to follow him for three days that year, but no any extra-marital activities were detected.
Despite this the Mildura couple’s marriage continued to deteriorate, and in January that year Mrs McPhee told her husband she considered the marriage over.
When she told her husband she no longer loved him as she once did, he took a kitchen knife and stabbed her twice in the chest.
The court heard McPhee panicked and called 000, telling an operator his wife had stabbed herself.
He later made full and frank admissions to police.
In overturning McPhee’s sentence, Justices Peter Redlich and Justice Phillip Priest accepted the murder fell into the lowest category due to McPhee’s early guilty plea, genuine remorse, otherwise good character and lack of aggravating factors.
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