Courtroom erupts at fatal stabbing verdict

Cheryl Goodenough
·3-min read

Friends of a murder victim have erupted in court shouting death threats after learning his killer could be released within two years.

As Renee Helen Blockey was sentenced in a Brisbane court, friends of John Windle shouted that she would be killed in jail.

"I'll be in jail next week and I'll kill you," one woman yelled as she left the courtroom.

Blockey was sentenced to nine years in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter over the stabbing of Mr Windle in 2018 on Macleay Island, off southeast Queensland.

The couple's relationship - often fuelled by alcohol and drugs - was volatile from just two weeks after they met in November 2017.

The 43-year-old mother-of-four was both a victim and a perpetrator of domestic violence, Supreme Court Justice John Bond said in handing down his sentence.

But on April 23, 2018, Blockey stabbed Mr Windle with a hunting knife she kept in her bedside table.

Two weeks earlier, she told a friend she had a knife named Kitty she would use to stab Mr Windle if he kept accusing her of sleeping with other men.

Blockey told at least six versions of the circumstances on the "fateful day" of Mr Windle's death, Justice Bond said.

These included saying her 41-year-old partner had stabbed himself.

But Justice Bond accepted Blockey's guilty plea meant the killing wasn't justified, or in self-defence, although she had a bruise on her upper lip consistent with having been hit.

"You accept that stabbing him was not reasonably necessary to defend yourself from Mr Windle's actual or threatened violence to you," he told Blockey.

Justice Bond accepted Mr Windle had pursued Blockey into her home with "aggressive intent".

The pair's argument that day started after they got home-brewed rum from a friend about 10am.

Neighbours heard yelling from Blockey's house where the two had returned after drinking.

A postman delivering mail about 12.10pm told police he saw Blockey covered in blood in the doorway, calling frantically for an ambulance as someone was "bleeding out".

Inside the house, the postman saw Mr Windle lying on the floor in a pool of blood. He was moaning while Blockey was crying and holding him.

Asked what happened, she told the postman: "I stabbed him."

Mr Windle died from a 16cm stab wound below his left collar bone.

Police found a clean, wet hunting knife in the bottom of a shower in the house and bloodstains on the wall and floor of the shower recess.

Blockey later told officers Mr Windle had angrily accused her of drinking all the home-brew and of being unfaithful.

She said she kept the hunting knife in her bedside table because Mr Windle scared her.

Justice Bond said he accepted Blockey was sincerely remorseful for her conduct and aware of the harm of her actions.

But through her actions she had taken the life of another human being.

"You denied him the opportunity to perhaps, perhaps break free of the cycle of drugs and alcohol and domestic violence into which he had fallen," he said.

Justice Bond said the harm Blockey did had not stopped with her victim.

Statements from Mr Windle's mother, sister and children were evidence of the love his family had for him.

Blockey will be eligible for parole on January 22, 2022, after spending three years and nine months behind bars.

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