46yo gets life in jail for ‘sense­less’ stab mur­der

Pilbara News - - News - Shan­non Hamp­ton

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.

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