Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
Man jailed for stabbing wife after she asked for a divorce

An Indian national, who stabbed his wife more than 20 times at their Brisbane home after she asked for a divorce, has been sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.

April 28, 2020

An Indian man has been jailed for stabbing his wife more than 20 times during a frenzied attack at their Brisbane home after she asked for a divorce.

The woman, now 28, suffered injuries to her head, neck, chest, back and arms during the premeditated attempt to murder her as she slept in August 2015.

Rajkumar Janagani, 35, then turned the knife on himself, saying “my wife wants to leave me I do not want to live without her”.

But his bid to take his own life failed. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, grabbed the knife, stopping Janagani as he stabbed himself in the chest and throat.

He sustained superficial wounds. The woman needed surgery and spent two weeks in a hospital, some of it in intensive care.  She continues to suffer from her injuries.

Janagani pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday to attempted murder after he admitted to police that he had tried to kill his wife and himself.

He will spend at least eight years and eight months in prison and is likely to be deported once released.

His early morning attack came a day before the woman was due to fly home to India.

The court heard his dominating behaviour had escalated and she had told him she was leaving him.

“He became very controlling and would isolate me. He would tell me what I would and could not say to people,” the woman said in her victim impact statement.

Janagani also choked the woman, hit her, spat in her food, and monitored her emails.

The woman, who was studying software engineering at the time, said the attack had robbed her of her self-confidence and left her feeling ashamed.

Her family in India have also been impacted after Janagani’s family and friends targeted them.

“I was a high achiever and was in the top one per cent,” she said.

“(Now) I feel worthless. I feel like my life has collapsed. I cannot trust people and I feel there is no hope for my future.”

In sentencing, Justice Peter Applegarth said Janagani’s assault on a vulnerable woman was cowardly.

“You controlled her, you isolated her, then you injured her with intent to kill her,” he said.

“It was not a single horrible stab wound. It was a sustained attack as the number of stab wounds demonstrates.”

He also told the woman she should not feel ashamed for what happened to her.

“I hope when this legal process ends that you will see yourself as more than a victim,” she said.

“You should see yourself as a survivor.”

Justice Applegarth sentenced Janagani to 11 years’ imprisonment with parole eligibility after he serves 80 percent or eight years and eight months.

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