An Aboriginal woman who killed her niece during a drunken argument has been sentenced to 40 months in jail.
Rita Holland, 38, faced the Perth Supreme Court yesterday for the manslaughter of her 22-year-old niece at the Wongatha Wonganarra Village in Laverton in January last year.
Justice Michael Corby said Holland, her daughter and her niece were in one of the units in the village eating kangaroo meat when an argument about over alcohol escalated.
This led to the three women becoming involved in a scuffle, during which Holland took a 15cm knife from her daughter.
“You and the deceased were screaming and swearing at each other and the deceased had her fists up as though she wanted to fight you, ” Justice Corby said.
“You had the knife raised in your right hand, pointing it at the deceased. The deceased then advanced towards you and you made several stabbing motions with the knife in the direction of the deceased’s shoulder in order to frighten her.
“As a result you stabbed the deceased with the knife.
“The knife penetrated the deceased’s lower left neck, cutting the lower part of the internal left jugular vein.
“The State accepts you did not intend to kill the deceased or to cause a life-threatening injury.”
When imposing the jail term, Justice Corby accepted Holland was not able to fully control her actions because she was intoxicated.
Holland is expected to face tribal punishment when released.