Dael Newman claimed he wanted a “quick snatch and grab” when he broke into a couple’s rural home.
But instead of stealing cash and cannabis from what he had presumed was an empty home, Newman stabbed and killed a man recovering from cancer.
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David Gaskell and his wife Karen Lyons were watching late cricketer Shane Warne’s memorial service on March 30, 2022, when they heard Newman in their kitchen.
Gaskell, who was wearing an oxygen mask, had battled cancer for two years but was finally on the road to recovery when Newman broke in.
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Newman had previously stolen cannabis from the house at Manangatang, in Victoria’s northwest, when the couple were not home.
This time, Gaskell and his two dogs confronted Newman in the kitchen and told him to get out.
Newman, who had his face covered, tried to taser Gaskell but it did not work.
When the dogs starting biting at his legs, the burglar grabbed a knife from the bench.
He swung the blade at Gaskell, stabbing him several times in the chest, face, neck and arm before running to the front door where he encountered Lyons, who was trying to call for help.
Newman slashed Lyon’s middle finger and leg with the knife.
He took $200 from the kitchen bench and ran out to a waiting car.
A neighbour attempted to save Gaskell but he died from his stab wounds.
When he was arrested, Newman told police he was desperate, broke and had planned to rob a drug dealer for “a quick snatch and grab” but it backfired.
He was jailed for at least 16 years in Victoria’s Supreme Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to the reckless murder of Gaskell and recklessly injuring Lyons.
David Gaskell was fatally stabbed by Dael Newman at his Manangatang home. Credit: 7NEWS
Justice Jane Dixon said Newman should have seen people were home, given there was a car in the driveway and the TV was on.
She said the stabbing was “reactive and impulsive” and both victims were entitled to feel safe in their own home.
“Even if the stabbing of Mr Gaskell and the assault on Ms Lyons resulted from sudden panic, the fact remains that you stabbed Mr Gaskell to numerous parts of his body,” she said.
She sentenced him to a maximum 21 years, lower than the standard sentence for murder, after taking into account his difficult upbringing and early confession.
He has already served 15 months of his sentence.
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