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Vic domestic killer blamed everyone else

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016 By Genevieve Gannon

Killer Craig McDermott blamed everyone but himself.

When his former partner Fiona Warzywoda separated from him to escape his violent behaviour, he blamed her for the upheaval in the lives of their four children.

When CCTV captured him near the Sunshine shops where he purchased the knife he used to stab her, he said it was his 18-year-old son who wanted to look in the stores.

When Ms Warzywoda died from the six knife wounds he "rained down on her" in the frenzied daylight attack on April 16, 2014, he pleaded not guilty to her murder, telling the Victorian Supreme Court he was acting in self-defence.

He claimed he had been going to talk to Ms Warzywoda, 34, when she came at him with a knife.

It was possible Ms Warzywoda was stabbed by accident, or that she stabbed herself, McDermott, 40, said during his trial.

After the attack, he ran from the scene - where his partner of 18 years lay dying - because he was shocked and scared.

Witnesses to the brutal assault pursued McDermott, who got into his car and sped away.

Ms Warzywoda died where she fell.

The former couple had just left a nearby court that had finalised an order banning McDermott from approaching Ms Warzywoda.

She had left McDermott in February 2014 after he became drunk and violent at a family party and smashed her car window.

He was angry she was trying to leave him, and he blamed her.

A series of intervention orders were taken out in the weeks that followed the couple's separation.

In March, after three of the couple's children visited McDermott, he refused to return them as planned, and 12 days later another order had to be made, forcing him to return them.

While the younger children were in McDermott's custody two of them heard him say he was going to kill Ms Warzywoda with a pocket knife he kept in the car.

He claims they were wrong - and must have misunderstood something he was saying about a violent video game.

A jury rejected McDermott's claims and on Wednesday he was jailed for 25 years - with a minimum of 20 - for murder.

In sentencing, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Jane Dixon said it was necessary that a continuing message be sent to perpetrators of domestic violence.

"You were driven by extreme anger and held Fiona responsible for the court outcomes," Justice Dixon said.

The fact that McDermott had just been ordered not to approach Ms Warzywoda must have been at the front of his mind, Justice Dixon said.

"Along with taking the life of the person you said you loved, you have irretrievably damaged the happiness and stability of all of your children, and ruined your own future.

"All of that could have been avoided by adopting a degree of patience and restraint in the process of separating from your partner."

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