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Murderer 'prefers death' to tribal punishment

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 26 August 2004


The Supreme Court in Perth has been told a Halls Creek woman would rather take her own life than face tribal punishment from the Aboriginal community where she killed her de facto husband.

The 32-year-old stabbed her partner after she saw him having sex with another woman.

Deborah Sturt pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to unlawfully killing Patrick Seela in Halls Creek last year.

She has been held in custody since her arrest.

Today the court was told she faces retribution from her partner's family if she returns to her community.

Her lawyer has urged Justice Michael Murray to impose a non-custodial sentence.

He said it was hoped Sturt would be able to live at another community in the state's north when she is released because she would rather put a gun to her head than face tribal punishment.

Sturt will be sentenced next week.


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