13 Mar 2014

6 years for stabbing husband to death

3:11 pm on 13 March 2014

A Christchurch woman has been sentenced to six years in prison for stabbing her husband to death.

Lucille Scollay in the dock at the High Court in Christchurch.

Lucille Scollay in the dock at the High Court in Christchurch. Photo: CHRISTCHURCH STAR / Pool

Lucille Scollay, 45, was found guilty of manslaughter at the High Court in Christchurch in February.

At the sentencing on Thursday she wept in the dock as the judge recounted the details of how she had stabbed 48-year-old husband, Guy Scollay, in the chest while he lay half asleep in bed at their St Albans home in February 2013.

Justice Mander told the court Scollay's actions were born out of despair over the state of her husband, who suffered from depression and anxiety and rarely left the house.

He said she was not aware of the consequences of her actions because of her distressed state of mind.

"I take the view," the judge said, "that the jury concluded that the Crown was unable to prove that in your distressed state that you were cognisant of the real risk of death being caused by your action and you did not have a conscious appreciation of the lethal consequences you risked."

Scollay has always admitted what she did, but her lawyers argued that she never intended to kill her husband - just shock him into making a change to their lives.

Justice Mander said he acknowledged her immediate remorse and her attempts to seek assistance from both her son and emergency services. "I also acknowledge," he said, "the considerable anxiety and stress that you were under as a result of your marriage and domestic situation."

The judge did not impose a minimum period of imprisonment, which means Scollay will be eligible for parole in two years.

Speaking outside the court, her lawyer, Rupert Glover, said: "It's been a tragic case, very sad case indeed. She's accepting of what's happened. Of all the cases I've ever worked on, this has been one of the most troubling in just about every sense."

Mr Glover says they're still contemplating their position in terms of the length of the sentence.