Stab wife escapes time in jail

A JINDERA woman wept and hugged a friend after receiving a 22-month suspended jail sentence yesterday for stabbing her partner of 29 years.

Sandra Kay Ball, 60, formerly of Yerong Creek, was sentenced by Judge Gordon Lerve in Wagga District Court after pleading guilty to wounding Michael Driscoll with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on February 28 last year.

The judge heard that after driving around Yerong Creek drunk trying to obtain a gun — at one point offering a person $9000 — Ball went home and sharpened knives.

Woken by that sound at about 11.30pm, Mr Driscoll was met in the hallway by Ball.

In a struggle he suffered cuts on his chest and arm.

Ball told the judge she could not remember why she took a knife to Mr Driscoll, probably because she drank more than a bottle of wine that night, but he had refused to argue with her that day.

“I don’t know, I don’t know what I was thinking that night,” Ball said.

“I wish I did.

“I thought about hypnotherapy to try to remember, but I am in two minds; I don’t know if I want to remember.”

Ball said the court she felt “absolutely horrified” by what she did to Mr Driscoll.

Although their relationship was over she still had affection for him and hoped they would be friends.

In his victim impact statement, Mr Driscoll asked for Ball not to be jailed.

The court heard that Ball was the victim of almost daily domestic violence during a previous 10-year relationship in Western Australia.

She suffered depression and had taken up drinking after moving to Yerong Creek with Mr Driscoll to be close to his family about nine years ago.

Ball told the court she increased her alcohol consumption to fit in with Mr Driscoll’s family, but they never accepted her.

“He never stood up for me, he never did anything,” said Ball.

But she said Mr Driscoll never hurt her physically.

“He is a very kind gentleman; there is not a violent bone in his body,” Ball said.

Ball’s counsel, Michael King, asked for a non-custodial sentence for Ball, while John Hall for the Crown sought jail because Ball’s crime was objectively serious.

Ball is required to be of good behaviour for 22 months and accept supervision by Corrective Services.

Judge Lerve noted she had no prior criminal record.