Jail for horror scissor killing in Cairns
A HOMELESS man has been sentenced to nine years' jail for stabbing a woman to death with a pair of scissors in an attack a Cairns judge described as "ferocious" and a "serious example of manslaughter".
Sebastian Gilbert, 30, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter on Tuesday over the November 27, 2010 incident which saw him stab the 39-year-old woman in a Cairns CBD laneway and leave her for dead after she insulted him.
Yesterday, Justice Jim Henry sentenced the man and said he believed the jury handed down its decision after finding the prosecution did not prove Gilbert intended to murder the woman or cause her grievous bodily harm.
Justice Henry said it was a "serious example of manslaughter" that resulted in great sadness for the Kowanyama-based family of the woman, who cannot be named for cultural reasons.
He said the pair were drinking in a park before the incident unfolded and local residents phoned police after finding the woman lying in a pool of blood.
"It's a quite clearly deliberate use of a weapon, but furthermore it seems to have been a ferocious and repeated use of that weapon," Justice Henry said.
"It seems to be obvious that based on the evidence as heard, an ordinary sober person would not have reacted as you did."
The court heard Gilbert, who had indicated prior to the trial that he would plead guilty to manslaughter, suffered from severe drug and alcohol addiction and had very little education.
His six-page criminal history demonstrated a "general indication of lawless behaviour", Justice Henry said, but he noted there were few violent offences in his past.
Justice Henry did not declare a parole eligibility date, but Gilbert will be required to serve at least half of his sentence.
He has already been behind bars for more than two years.
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