Judge cries in court while sentencing woman who killed abusive partner

A judge has cried in court as he jailed a woman who killed her abusive partner.

Jessie Donker, 31, endured years of violence at the hands of Richie Powell, until she eventually fought back in January last year.

The court heard the mother-of-three chased down Powell in a Sunbury, Victoria car park, revving her car towards him four times but not hitting him.

When she ran into a pole, it freakishly bent and the sign swung down into his head like an axe.

Jessie Donker was sentenced on Friday for killing her partner in January 2017. Source: 7News
Jessie Donker was sentenced on Friday for killing her partner in January 2017. Source: 7News

Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher sentenced Donker to five years in jail and began by quoting a song about domestic violence.

He then went on to say the series of events that led to Powell’s death was the last straw for Donker.

“After being choked and having her eyebrow split by him again the night before, after being viciously dragged out of her car by the hair as she tried to sleep, after all of that, Ms Donker could take no more and finally snapped,” he added.

Justice Croucher spoke of Donker’s attempts to fight back over the years, but she was no match for Powell.

Source: 7News
Source: 7News

The only break Donker had from Powell’s abuse was in 2014 when he was in jail.

During that time she got her life back on track but when he was released he started using ice and the violence returned.

Donker was sentenced to a minimum of two years and with time served she could be free in eight months, taking into account time she has already served.

For Powell’s family, her sentencing was difficult to accept.

“She could have driven away at any time, not keep going after him and after him,” one relative said outside of court.

While Donker will have to live with the fact that she killed her children’s father, the judge had no doubt that on her release she would be able to make a life for herself.