Stabbing her long-term lover seven times in the back with a peeling knife was an "utterly irrational response" to seeing him with his wife, a judge told Gloria Cherrington yesterday.
Justice Christian Whata sentenced Cherrington, 51, a caregiver, to six years and one month's prison for attempted murder on August 27 last year, which she had previously admitted.
In the High Court at Dunedin, Justice Whata imposed no minimum period of imprisonment. She was given a first warning under the "three strikes" legislation.
Justice Whata said upon seeing the man and his wife walking in South Dunedin, Cherrington reached a "tipping point" into extreme violence, for which she had not previously shown much propensity.
Cherrington had an "emotional fragility" and an alcohol abuse problem, in the context of a long and turbulent relationship with the victim. She had felt as though she was treated as a "part-time partner" by the man for whom she had relocated from Auckland to Dunedin.
Noting Cherrington had completed a drug and alcohol addiction programme since her offending, Justice Whata gave credit for an early guilty plea, which helped reduce the sentence from its starting point of eight years and six months.
It was fortunate the weapon was a peeling knife, or the injuries would have been more serious, he said.
Justice Whata suppressed the victim's name and any information that might identify him.
The summary of facts said Cherrington and the victim were in a relationship for about 12 years and he has been separated from his wife for about three years.
On August 22, police attended a domestic verbal argument between the pair at their Green Island home, and the victim moved back to his mother's house to defuse the situation.
On August 27, the victim and his wife were walking in South Dunedin, when Cherrington drove past. She later called the victim, and told him she was going to come and get her key from him. She also told him she was going to kill him.
As he approached the car to hand over the key, Cherrington opened her passenger door, started swinging her arms in an attempt to punch him.
Cherrington stabbed him seven times in the back, and once in the neck. He threw Cherrington to the ground, restraining her by sitting on her chest, and pinning her arms to the ground with his knees.
The victim sustained a punctured right lung and stab wounds.