46yo gets life in jail for ‘senseless’ stab murder
A Tom Price man who stabbed his former brother-in-law on his doorstep before driving away, buying a beer and burying the weapon was jailed for life yesterday over the “senseless” murder.
Shane Frederick James Josephs killed his former partner’s brother, Rhys Kelly, with a single blow to his throat after arriving at his Ferndale home on April 3 last year.
Josephs, 46, had a “longterm dislike” for Mr Kelly and had formed the false belief that he was selling drugs to his teenage son and daughter and that he had sexually abused his daughter when she was a child. On the night of the killing, Josephs drank three long-neck bottles of beer before arming himself with a fishing knife and tracking down Mr Kelly’s address.
When Mr Kelly — whom Josephs had not seen since he was a child — identified himself at the door, Josephs immediately stabbed him in the throat.
Josephs then turned around and drove away, stopping at a drive-through bottle shop to buy a can of beer, before going to his father’s house, covering the knife with dirt and going to sleep.
Mr Kelly, 25, ran bleeding to a neighbour’s house, but died a short time later.
During his trial in WA’s Supreme Court, Josephs maintained he did not intend to kill Mr Kelly and that he went to the house to tell him to stay away from his children.
In sentencing Josephs to life with a non-parole period of 19 years, Justice Stephen Hall said his account was a lie, finding instead that he intended to use the “sharp and dangerous weapon” to inflict a fatal injury on a vulnerable part of the victim’s body.
“The blow was a deliberate, aimed one and intended to be fatal,” he said.
It was a crime prosecutor Nicholas Cogin described as a “senseless act of violence”.
Justice Hall said Josephs had an “entrenched” alcohol problem and a “disposition for violence” that was heightened when he drank.
Outside court, Eileen Kelly, who witnessed her son’s death, said she was happy his killer was jailed, but nothing would bring Mr Kelly back.
Mrs Kelly said she has had to move out of the home she shared with her son to avoid the trauma of seeing the murder scene.
She described Mr Kelly, who has a five-year-old son, as “happy-go-lucky” and a “protector”.
“I still try to work it out now, why he opened the door that night. I think it was to protect me,” she said.