DPP v Lian [2016] VCC 295

Sentence summary: Intentionally causing serious injury

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The offender and his wife (victim 1) were arguing and talking about getting a divorce. Victim 1’s son from a previous marriage (victim 2) heard the fighting from his bedroom. Sometime after 2:00am, the offender went to the kitchen, turned on the gas hotplates and then opened a large gas bottle behind the front door. He then took a kitchen knife and went into victim 2’s bedroom to close the window. Victim 2 woke, smelt gas and dialled 000. On realising what victim 2 was doing, the offender stabbed him in the back of the neck with the knife after which a struggle ensued. Victim 1 heard the noise and came into the room where the offender had victim 2 on the floor and stabbed him two or three more times in the throat and neck. Victim 2 tried to prevent the stabbing by holding the blade of the knife with both hands. Victim 1 tried to grab the knife and she too sustained an injury to her hand. The fight continued until police arrived. Both victims required surgery for their wounds.

The offender pleaded guilty to three charges: intentionally causing serious injury, reckless conduct endangering life and recklessly causing injury.

The judge accepted that the offender had been suffering from acute adjustment disorder, anxiety and a schizotypal disorder, a condition genetically related to schizophrenia. She also acknowledged the offender’s early guilty plea, his lack of prior convictions and his good prospects of rehabilitation.

The judge found that while the injuries caused to victim 2 were not in the higher range of seriousness, the combination of injuries and the degree of psychological distress suffered by the victims was serious and deserved strong condemnation.

The offender was sentenced to six years and six months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years and six months.

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Page last updated: 20 September 2019