A former sergeant major in the Sierra Leone military has failed to have his 20-year jail sentence reduced - six years after being convicted of murdering his wife by stabbing her 46 times.
Robbinson Umaru Sesay, a refugee from the west African nation, was found guilty in 2006 of brutally murdering his wife Hannah in the garden of her Perth home.
The court heard Sesay armed himself with two knives, donned a mask and went to the house of the mother of four - despite a restraining order against him - and stabbed her 46 times to the neck, body and hands.
After being convicted, Sesay was sentenced to a term of strict-security imprisonment with a 20-year minimum and appealed unsuccessfully against his conviction.Today, more than eight years after the original offence, Justice Robert Mazza denied his appeal against the severity of the sentence.
“This was a premeditated offence committed on his wife in circumstances where a court order had prohibited him from attending at his wife’s premises altogether. The victim was ... defenceless in her own home,” Justice Mazza said.
“The attack was carried out in a merciless way with great ferocity as indicated by the number of knife wounds and the places on her body in which they were inflicted. (Sesay) fled the scene without rendering assistance.
“There was no evidence of remorse. The sheer seriousness of what the appellant did far outweighed the mitigating circumstances.”
Sesay’s original trial was told the couple arrived as refugees from Sierra Leone in 2001.
Their four children witnessed numerous assaults on their mother by their father, the court was told.
She was seen by neighbours with bruising on her face, and in July 2003 Mrs Sesay moved out of the marital home and applied for a violence restraining order.
On November 4, 2004, a misconduct restraining order was served on Sesay, banning him from communicating with his wife, from being within 100m of her home or within 25m of Mrs Sesay.
But just a week later, after having checked what time the children were due to leave for school, he went to the house carrying two knives in a backpack and launched the brutal attack.
Justice Mazza said the delay in Sesay’s appeal against the severity of the sentence was unexplained.
“The delay is, on any view, gross,” said Justice Mazza.“The written submissions are confusing, at times incoherent ... and his oral submissions proceeded in the same vein.”