A nurse who stabbed her ex-husband in front of their young daughter at a Perth playground, has been jailed for at least three-and-a-half years.
Michelle Allison Fernandez maintains she acted in self-defence when she stabbed Mark Fernandez at least twice at the Shelley park foreshore in October 2015, the WA District Court heard on Thursday.
The mother-of-two was found guilty by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm, but insists she did not bring the knife and is not guilty of the crime.
Michelle Fernandez maintains her innocence. Picture: 7 News
Judge Michael Bowden accepted the 43-year-old did not form the intention to stab her former partner in front of shocked onlookers, including young children, until shortly before it happened.
"It was traumatic, it was a brutal attack, it occurred in a public park and in essence in the middle of the day," he said.
"There were other people, children as well, present at that park."
An adult is seen shielding child's eyes at the park. Picture: 7 News
Mr Fernandez suffered a 15cm wound to his bowel and a 10cm laceration to his chest, as well as injuries to his hands.
"If medical intervention had not have occurred it was very likely that the victim would have died," Judge Bowden said.
Mr Fernandez spent 28 days in hospital after being found with his intestines hanging out, was confined to a wheelchair for four months and needed 105 stitches to his chest and abdomen, and 138 stitches to other parts of his body.
Michelle Fernandez claimed her former partner brought the knife to the park. Picture: 7 News
Judge Bowden noted Fernandez had no prior record, had a supportive family, and was highly thought of by workmates and friends, who described her as calm, generous and trustworthy.
More than 60 character references were handed to the court, describing the Perth mother as a caring woman who wasn’t violent.
"It's not in dispute, and it's confirmed by the references and evidence given at the trial, that you're highly competent in your profession," he said.
Michelle Fernandez has been jailed for at least three and a half years. Picture: 7 News
"You're caring, compassionate and very professional in your work as a clinical nurse."
Judge Bowden also noted Fernandez was unlikely to reoffend, but said she had traumatised the victim.
He also said he was satisfied Michelle Fernandez was the one who brought the knife to the scene, after the former couple agreed to meet to discuss their children.
Fernandez was sentenced to more than five years in jail, and must serve three-and-a-half years behind bars before she can be eligible for parole.