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Man jailed for knife attack on sweetheart

AAP logoAAP 9/08/2016 By Alexandra Patrikios

A man who drew his high school sweetheart in for a hug before slashing her with a 20cm kitchen knife in a "surprise attack" has been sentenced to seven years behind bars.

Russell Wayne Smulders, 28, fronted the Brisbane District Court on Tuesday having pleaded guilty to causing his estranged partner grievous bodily harm when he attacked her at Crestmead, south of Brisbane, in November 2012.

Judge Paul Smith on Tuesday sentenced him to seven years imprisonment, fixing a parole eligibility date of July 8 next year and declaring 15 months in pre-sentence custody as time already served.

Smulders met his victim at high school when they were both in Grade 8 and they married in 2010.

But the relationship had started to sour two years later, with Smulders fearing his wife was having an affair with a woman she met in an online chat room.

Crown prosecutor Dennis Kinsella said tensions culminated in November when he turned up at her mother's house, where she was staying, and "lured" the 23-year-old outside.

There, he asked her if she still loved him and hugged her, but she was unresponsive.

"After a few more minutes, you told her that you'd leave her alone and that you wanted another hug," Judge Smith summarised in sentencing.

But the court heard Smulders then moved forward and said into her ear: "This is bull****, I've had enough. You're coming with me".

Mr Kinsella said he then drew the knife in a "surprise attack" and dealt about four blows, including slashes to her forearm and abdomen, resulting in the eventual loss of "close to half of her blood".

Smulders was hit by a car as he fled towards nearby bushland but later handed himself in, with defence barrister Tim Ryan relaying how he'd described his behaviour to police as "disgraceful".

Judge Smith noted Smulders had attributed the attack to voices in his head but said he hadn't previously been diagnosed with any mental illness.

He also acknowledged he had suffered injuries, including as a result of a self-harm attempt, and had ongoing cognitive impairment.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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