Children witness dad's attempted murder

Last updated 16:24 05/05/2014

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A Timaru man whose children saw him try to kill their mother's new partner has been jailed for more than seven years.

Ricky James Mullen, 30, was sentenced in the High Court in Timaru today by Justice Graeme Pankhurst on charges of attempted murder, male assaults female and breaching a protection order.

He was jailed for seven years and four months.

The court was told that on June 28, 2013 Mullen went to pick up his two children from the mother of his former partner of 15 years.

The mother called her daughter back because Mullen was in an agitated state. The woman returned with her new partner who had been a friend of Mullen's.

"There was jealousy and an inability to move on and accept your 15 year relationship was at an end," Justice Pankhurst said.

"He got out of the vehicle and you approached with one hand behind your back. You then pulled out a knife that was 20 centimetres long and attacked [the new partner]. He suffered a head wound near his ear which required stitches and there were three puncture marks to his torso and one to his shoulder."

During the altercation he also punched his former partner.

Mullen was restrained until the police arrived.

The women fled the scene with the two children who had witnessed the attack, Justice Pankhurst said.

Mullen told the victim: "I should have killed you. Next time it will be a bullet."

"Both of your sons are affected by what they saw that day," the judge said.

"You have said [to his ex-partner] 'if I can't have you no one can have you'. That is one of the worst threats imaginable."

Mullen had eight previous assault convictions and had also been imprisoned three times.

Pre-sentence reports showed he had little remorse for his victims.

He told the report writer: "I feel bad that my kids will be without a father and that I affected a friendship of 15 years. I don't care about him."

In a letter to the judge, Mullen said he did regret the attack and would welcome restorative justice with the victim.

Justice Pankhurst started with a sentence of nine years imprisonment but reduced it to seven years and four months on account of his guilty plea.

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- Fairfax Media

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