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Murder accessory almost destroyed evidence

AAP logoAAP 14/10/2016

A young woman who tried to clean and hide a knife her boyfriend had used to savagely stab a man to death almost broke the chain of evidence used to convict the killer.

After moving swiftly to thoroughly wash blood from the large kitchen knife her partner had used in the murder, Rachel Manevski replaced it in a block at a Central Coast home.

She then directed her former boyfriend and co-offender, Andrew Perkins, to sit in the backyard of his family home.

"After having been arrested at the scene, she told countless bald-faced (lies) and subsequently admitted lies to police," NSW Supreme Court Justice Richard Button said as he sentenced Manevski to a minimum of three years in jail.

"In particular, she attempted to give him a completely false alibi whereby he and she had remained in the home at all relevant times."

The court heard Manevski and Perkins had spent the night before the stabbing drinking heavily and smoking cannabis with Ashleigh Cornish, the then-girlfriend of the eventual murder victim, Kieran Priestland.

Sometime during the evening of February 12, 2014, Priestland came to the Perkins' home and publicly accused Ms Cornish of cheating.

After a further spat over Facebook and the phone, Ms Cornish decided to spend the evening with her boyfriend and asked him to collect her.

He arrived soon after and was fatally attacked while sitting in his car, still wearing his seatbelt as he waited in the driveway.

"The death of that young man was rapid and inevitable," Justice Button said.

After stabbing his victim repeatedly, Perkins gave the bloodied knife to Manevski, who immediately scrubbed it clean and returned it to a knife block.

"The murder weapon was almost sufficiently cleaned by (Manevski) to remove any scientific link between it and the attack upon the (Priestland)," Justice Button said.

"In other words, the offender almost succeeded in breaking the link between the co-offender, the murder weapon, and the deceased."

Manevksi was initially charged with murder as part of a joint criminal enterprise and an accessory to the murder, but after trial only found guilty of the lesser offence.

She was on Friday sentenced to at least three years behind bars and with time served will be eligible for parole in February.

Perkins was in August sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in jail.

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