A 40-year-old-man who stabbed his pregnant partner to death at their home in Sydney’s west in 2015 has been found guilty of her murder.
Mount Druitt mother-of-three Kirralee Paepaerei died from 49 stab wounds to her neck and chest and blunt force trauma from a metal rod.
The 37-year-old’s unborn child also died during the frenzied attack.
During his trial in the NSW Supreme Court, Joshua Homann conceded he caused his partner’s death, but said he was not guilty of murder because he was suffering from a mental illness.
However, it took a jury of nine men and three women just one hour and 20 minutes to find Homann guilty.
“[Her] nose and part of her jaw were fractured, there were at least — in the neck alone — 28 incision and stab wounds [and] 21 stab wounds on the chest,” Crown prosecutor Sean Hughes said.
“A forensic examination of the ensuite showed some diluted blood which matched the deceased’s blood, suggesting there was some effort to wash it away.”
Mr Hughes said as a relative of Ms Paepaerei’s discovered her body, they noticed Homann’s car reverse quickly out of the driveway and speed away.
Homann drove to Mount Druitt Police station, leaned over the counter, and started yelling that officers needed to send someone to his home on Chester Street.
“He said, ‘Someone broke into my house and tried to stab me, my partner is home, you need to make sure she is OK, please help my partner who is still at home, I’m worried about her’,” Mr Hughes said.
“[But] there was no evidence found consistent with there being an intruder — the deceased died at the hands of the accused and the accused alone.”
A small amount of the drug ice was found in the 40-year-old’s system after the attack, but defence barrister Peter Lange told the jury this was not what caused his client to lash out.
He also said this was not a case about domestic violence.
“What is at issue is what was going on in the mind of Mr Homann that night and what was operating on his mind that night,” Mr Lange said.
“What this case is ultimately about is the power of mental illness.”