Leila Alavi left her native Iran "seeking a better way of life, away from violence".
But violence found her in the end.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Allan Hulme told on Thursday how the 26-year-old's estranged husband Mokhtar Hosseiniamraei had murdered her in "the most callous and brutal circumstances", stabbing her to death with a pair of scissors in an underground carpark in western Sydney.
The autopsy report counted 56 stab wounds.
"He was a larger man attacking a slightly-built defenceless woman who posed no threat to him," Justice Hulme said of the murder on January 17, 2015.
"It was carried out in a confined space from which she had no chance of escape.
"Her dying moments must have been utterly terrifying."
He has ordered that Hosseiniamraei spend up to 21 years behind bars for the murder, with a non-parole period of 15 years and nine months.
The day before she was killed, Ms Alavi had taken a call from Hosseiniamraei and turned, visibly shaken, to a colleague.
"He said he is going to kill me and all of us. Probably he is watching too many movies," she said.
It was not the first time Hosseiniamraei had threatened his young wife.
Ms Alavi had taken out an apprehended domestic violence order against Hosseiniamraei the previous spring but continued to care for him following their separation - contacting relatives with concerns about the 34-year-old's mental health and even doing housework for him.
Hosseiniamraei repaid her kindness with violence and, after her death, with blame.
Asked why he had attacked Ms Alavi, Hosseiniamraei told police: "She did not obey the rule of marriage".
"She broke the contract. I could not tolerate it," Hosseiniamraei said.
"And I could not forget it ... I love her very much."
The dead woman's loved ones tearfully shook their heads as the judge repeated Hosseiniamraei's words on Thursday.
"His attempt to justify his actions by blaming Ms Alavi for her disobedience of the `rule of marriage' which he said he `could not tolerate' discloses a breathtakingly arrogant and misogynistic attitude towards the right of his wife to choose her own destiny," Justice Hulme said.
Outside court, Mitra Alavi said her little sister was like a daughter to her when they grew up in Iran.
Earlier, she had told the court she worried about Leila's relationship with Hosseiniamraei, whom she believed to be "cruel and dangerous".
"My sister paid the rent for him, did everything to help him, but he took (her) life," she told reporters on Thursday.
The soonest that Hosseiniamraei can qualify for release is October 2030.