- Carve-up killer's plea
- Exclusive By Janet Fyfe-Yeomans
- The Daily Telegraph
- 26/06/2006 Make a Comment
- Contributed by: admin ( 61 articles in 2006 )
Abattoir worker Katherine Knight, who liked to wear feminine Laura Ashley clothes and is known in jail for her demure behaviour, is the only woman in Australia jailed for the term of her natural life.
She lodged her appeal against her sentence from maximum security Mullewa soon after she was jailed in 2001 for the macabre murder of John Price.
But the case has floundered while lawyers tried to come up with convincing arguments for why Knight, 50, should ever be released from jail.
Her solicitor, Peter Katsoolis, refused to comment on the grounds of her appeal, due to be heard this week in the Court of Criminal Appeal. But it is understood it involves innovative grounds, including that she is a woman.
"Her appeal has been lodged for years but she hasn't been able to come up with some new grounds. She's been shopping around the lawyers," said a source close to the case.
Her frilly, flowery clothes were replaced with prison greens when she joined the 25 men sentenced to life in NSW since 1990, under truth in sentencing legislation.
The mother of four pleaded guilty to murder after Mr Price's body was found on the floor of his Aberdeen home in the Hunter Valley in 2000.
Knight worked as a slicer and packer at Aberdeen Abattoir and her lover had been carefully skinned and his skin hung on a meat hook in a doorway at the house.
His decapitated head was found in a pot on the stove. The table had been laid for dinner with name cards for Mr Price's three children and parts of his buttocks cooked and served up with vegetables and gravy on dinner plates.
The savage attack with a butcher's knife was triggered by Mr Price taking out an apprehended violence order against Knight the week before.
Their relationship had a long history of abuse, with Knight the abuser.
The couple had sex before the murder and it was believed Mr Price was asleep when he was attacked. So-called "snuff" movies were among violent videos found at her house.
Sentencing Knight, Justice Barry O'Keefe said she had engaged in acts of violence against other former partners including her three ex-husbands.
She had smashed the false teeth of one man and slashed the throat of another's eight-week-old puppy in front of him.