Lynn MacLaren MLC joined petitioners on the steps of Parliament House today highlighting the injustice of domestic violence and murder.

“I understand that since the unlawful assault causing death offence was enacted there have been a number of cases where this charge has resulted in very lenient sentences for men who have killed their partners or ex-partners.”

“This offence was intended for the prosecution of ‘one-punch’ homicides. When death results from domestic and family violence, the offence should be quite different.”

“I support the call for a review of laws pertaining to domestic violence and changes to the Criminal Code,” Ms MacLaren said.

To quote the media statement from Angela Hartwig, the CEO of the Women’s Council for Family and Domestic Violence:
“Outraged members of the community are calling for an appropriate legislative framework that acknowledges the seriousness nature of this crime and in particular where there has been an established history of violence and abuse, the one-off punch assault charge should not apply, as this is charge is now being used out of context” said Ms Hartwig. “The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years however sentences under this charge to date, in the deaths of Saori Jones in Perth and a 37 year old woman in Kununurra have been as lenient as three and five years which is just not good enough.”

The story of Saori Jones (from the WCFDV media statement):
In December 2010 Saori Jones was assaulted by her husband and left to die, he did not call 000 or take her to hospital, instead he left her in the home with her children for 10 days before Police found her body. This was not the first time Bradley Wayne Jones had assaulted his wife, there was a long history of domestic violence that led to this point.
Bradley Wayne Jones pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful assault causing death, a charge that’s original intent was to prosecute the so-called ‘one punch’ homicides. He was sentenced to five years in prison and could be eligible for parole as early as December 2013.
This would see him serve as little as three years for a wilful and shameful act which highlights how our legal system is failing victims of domestic violence homicide.