Mum jailed for up to 16 years for killing abusive husband
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***Warning, this article discusses themes of domestic abuse.***
A mum-of-six has been jailed for up to 16 years for killing her abusive husband.
Rebecca Payne, 43, was found guilty for the murder of Noel Payne by a Supreme Court jury in regional Victoria, Australia, this year.
In September 2020, Payne gave her husband homemade lemon biscuits with a fatal dose of Temazepam laced in the icing.
The 68-year-old was also given a cup of hot Milo, a chocolate Nestle drink popular in Australia, and he became unconscious.
The court heard she wrapped her husband’s body in a blanket and stored it in a chest freezer in the backyard of their family home in the town of Walpeup.
The court also heard Ms Payne endured years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and coercive control from Mr Payne, who cut off her communication from her family and friends and did not allow her to go to her son’s funeral.
During a fight over finances, Mr Payne took his wife to a cemetery, grabbed her by the hair, kicked her in the ribs and spat on her while she was on the ground.
Supreme Court Justice, Rita Incerti, described the abuse Ms Payne endured as ‘so depraved and distressing that it is difficult to capture the horror of such abuse with words’.
Payne couldn’t shower or go for a walk or collect the mail on her own, either.
She was forced to have his name tattooed on her body 18 times in an effort to stop her from ever being with another person.
Payne had left her abusive husband on two occasions, in 2007 and 2012, but court orders prevented her from taking her children.
Justice Incerti rejected claims from the prosecution suggesting that Payne could have left her husband.
“You were living in intolerable and inescapable circumstances,” she said, per 9News. “Given his controlling and coercive behaviours, the existing court orders stopping you from taking the children, your limited financial means, and the fact you were residing in a remote and isolated part of Victoria during Covid-19 lockdowns, you had no realistic option to leave.”
During her sentencing, Justice Incerti said although her case required mercy, Payne still killed her husband with no legal reason and she was not under direct threat at the time.
With time served, she will be eligible for release in just over seven years.
Payne’s son, Jamie, told 9News he had no idea about the abuse his mum was suffering and is looking forward to her release so they can be reunited as a family.
"If I felt like if I could have done something years ago I would have done it," he said.