Survivor of abuse who killed stranger jailed
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Survivor of abuse who killed stranger jailed

A victim of domestic violence who stabbed a stranger to death while claiming to act out of fear has been sentenced to seven years and seven months in prison.

NSW Supreme Court Justice Helen Wilson said Lily Ridgeway was “oversensitive” to any threat after suffering the shocking domestic violence of two previous partners when she once stabbed Jason Adams in the heart.

Survivor of abuse who killed stranger jailed

Justice Wilson said psychiatric reports showed that Ridgeway, who was brutally beaten by her boyfriend a month before the murder, had been significantly affected by her own traumatic background and feelings of unsafe and vulnerability at the time of Mr. Adams’s death. To be.

“While this was a completely unnecessary murder, the perpetrator’s act was a culmination of years of trauma, violence, and abuse,” the judge told a court in Newcastle on Friday.

“Although based on the objective and reliable evidence, Mr. Adams posed no real threat to her, Ms. Ridgeway was ready to see danger around her because her life had been lived in dangerous circumstances so many times.

“Her perceptions could only have been further distorted by the drugs she had abused in recent days.

“Her reaction, wh, ich she described as blacking out or going into survival mode, must have been almost instinctive.”

When he jailed Ridgeway for seven years and seven months with a five-year non-parole period, Judge Wilson accepted the psychiatric opinion that Ridgeway was in an “emotionally disturbed state” before the stabbing.

Ridgeway suffered from an acute stress disorder and was hypersensitive to any threat.

She had told police she had gone into “survival mode” when she stabbed Mr. Adams outside the home of her boyfriend, Nikita Hanson, in Raymond Terrace on February 29, 2020.

Mr. Adams, 27, had been released on bail to live at Ms. Hanson’s address but was asked to leave and later sent Ms. Hanson text messages threatening to come back and collapse the house.

When he showed up at 5:20 a.m., Ridgeway said she went out armed with a knife.

Ridgeway said she blacked out after the stabbing and had no memory of what happened but claimed it must have been self-defense or an accident.

In a letter of apology to the victim’s family, Ridgeway said: “I am so sorry for what happened that night as it touches me that I am responsible for the loss of someone’s life.

“It will always touch me and never suit me well.

“An important contribution to that night and how it turned out was that I was not myself mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

“I had a lot of recent trauma that affected my drug problems, and I think I was trying to numb myself and escape reality.

“I feel nauseous with grief about what happened that night because it’s not the woman I ever wanted to be and a situation I thought I’d never see myself.”

Ridgeway was found not guilty of the murder of Mr. Adams in June 2021, but the jury could not agree on the lower charge of manslaughter. A second trial was held earlier this year, and Ridgeway was found guilty of manslaughter.