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Adelaide father gets 20 years for daughter's stabbing murder


An Adelaide man who killed his daughter by stabbing her eight times in a fit of rage will spend at least 20 years behind bars for his “catastrophic breach of trust”.

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Petrit Lekaj, 49, had confronted 20-year-old Sabrina Lekaj in her car over her partying and drug use in the lead-up to the July 2019 attack.

Sentencing him in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Trish Kelly said his reaction was “ironic” given he had multiple drug convictions and had previously spent more than four years in jail for heroin trafficking.

“The bond between a parent and a child is ordinarily fundamental,” she said.

“The crime of filicide involves such a catastrophic breach of that bond that it is difficult for anyone to fathom how you could have done it.”

The court has previously heard Lekaj took a 15-centimetre knife with him when he and his daughter went to get takeaway food on the night of the attack.

Defence lawyers said the father-of-two had taken the knife to scare Ms Lekaj, but stabbed her in the abdomen before covering her mouth with his hand and killing her.

Justice Kelly said the catastrophic outcome came after Lekaj lost his temper.

“In those few moments you simultaneously destroyed your life as well as Sabrina’s,” she said.

“You will have to live with those consequences for the rest of your life.”

Ms Lekaj was found dead in her car near the family’s suburban Kidman Park property, while her father was treated in hospital for several self-inflicted stab wounds.

Justice Kelly sentenced him to life behind bars with the mandatory minimum 20-year non-parole period, making him eligible for parole in 2039.

His wife Romina Lekaj – Sabrina Lekaj’s mother – made no comment as she left court.


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