A WOMAN’S time behind bars for stabbing her neighbour could be cut by almost a year after Orange District Court decided she needed to be supervised in the community after her release.
Deborah Maria Jane Riley, 55, of Amaroo Crescent, appealed her two-year jail sentence, without parole, for reckless wounding on Monday.
Riley had received the maximum sentence Orange Local Court could give for the offence after she lacerated her victim’s liver with a kitchen knife at about 8.45am on November 23.
Riley had been in a long-running dispute with the neighbour and decided to confront her, armed with the kitchen knife.
A short argument ensued on the neighbour’s doorstep and Riley stabbed her in the torso.
Riley later told police she was fed up with her neighbour coming over and “bludging” food and cigarettes from her and she wanted to send the woman a message to leave her alone.
However, solicitor Ben Tonkin said his client was entitled to a parole period.
“Without a parole period, there’s a danger of things going awry when she is released into the community,” he said.
“I would submit having an amount of time to adjust to normal life would be in the interests of justice and rehabilitation.”
Mr Tonkin said his client’s criminal record had only included minor matters since 1999, which had been dealt with through fines.
“She’s a person who doesn’t do things like this ordinarily,” he said.
Department of Public Prosecutions solicitor Ben Page pointed out the offence carried a maximum of seven years’ jail in the district court.
“It was a premeditated and unprovoked attack, at least on the day of the incident,” he said.
“The seriousness is well above the mid-range.”
However, he acknowledged it was Riley’s first time in custody and the community would be served with a period of supervision, particularly if the living arrangements leading to the offence were the same after her release.
Judge Julia Baly kept the overall term at two years’ jail, saying a custodial sentence was needed, but changed the non-parole period to 13 months.
“As the Crown has rightly pointed out, a parole period is warranted,” she said.
She said it was fortunate the victim’s injuries were not worse.
Riley will be eligible for release on December 22.