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Pick-axe killer jailed for eight years

Date

Mark Russell

A mother of two who killed her partner of 23 years with a pick axe and buried him in the backyard has been jailed for eight years.

Angela Williams, 45, had been found not guilty of murder, but guilty of the lesser charge of defensive homicide by a Supreme Court jury in April.

Ms Williams had admitted killing Doug Kally, 48, formerly known as  Dragan Dordevic, in July 2008 by hitting him 16 times with a pick axe, dragging the body outside to the tool shed and then later burying him in the backyard of their home at Indented Head on the Bellarine Peninsula.

She later told police she had been acting in self defence after suffering years of abuse.

Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth said on Friday she was satisfied that Mr Kally’s behaviour towards Ms Williams over many years ‘‘was abusive, belittling and controlling, and involved both physical and psychological abuse’’.

‘‘The family violence legislation itself expressly provides that a person in a family violence situation may believe ... that their conduct is necessary to defend themselves ... even if their response involves the use of force in excess of the force involved in the harm or threatened harm,’’ Justice Hollingworth said when jailing Ms Williams for eight years with a non-parole period of five years. 

‘‘The final act or acts of the deceased may well be relatively minor, if looked at in isolation; but what happens in such cases is that the victim of family violence finally reaches a point of explosive violence, in response to yet another episode of being attacked.

‘‘In such a case, it is not uncommon for the accused to inflict violence that is completely disproportionate to the immediate harm or threatened harm from the deceased.’’

Ms Williams, who told family and friends Mr Kally had left her and moved to his favourite fishing spot at Kiama in NSW, began a relationship with his best friend, father of five David Grainger, known as Bear, soon after she killed Mr Kally.

Mr Kally’s body was found in a shallow grave wrapped in a tarpaulin more than four years later.

Ms Williams told police in December 2012 how she had argued with Mr Kally in their bedroom between July 10 to 24, 2008, after he called her a slut and accused her of sleeping with Mr Grainger.

Ms Williams said the couple had been pushing and shoving each other when she grabbed the pick axe from behind the bedroom door and Mr Kally told her, ‘‘Go on, do it you f...ing fat slut.’’

Ms Williams repeatedly struck Mr Kally with the pick axe before leaving him lying motionless on the bed. She later dragged him outside to the tool shed before burying him.

Mr Grainger told the jury he later moved into Ms Williams’ home and lived there for two years having no idea his best friend was buried in a shallow grave in the backyard where he would play with his children and hang up washing on the line.

He said he began a relationship with Ms Williams about two to four months after Mr Kally had disappeared and it was ‘‘completely false’’ to suggest the couple had been having an affair while Doug was still alive.

But Joanne Mills, a former close friend of Ms Williams, claimed she had taken up with her new lover ‘‘pretty damn quick’’ after Mr Kally disappeared.

Crown prosecutor Brendan Kissane suggested Ms Williams had killed Mr Kally to have a nicer life with Mr Grainger.

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