Woman about former lover: ‘I think I just killed him’
SECONDS after Kimberley Ruth Mitchell stabbed her former lover and crime partner in the chest, she walked into her unit saying "I think I just killed him" and then smoked cones with her cousin.
It was her neighbours that went to Kevin John Ryan, 40, to assist after he had staggered from the front of Mitchell's Emu Park unit to the footpath and collapsed.
He had sustained a 9-10cm deep stab wound to the left chest, piercing his left lung wall and the sack around his heart. An autopsy showed 1.3 litres of blood had been pumped from his heart into his chest cavity.
Justice Graeme Crow said Mitchell's behaviour at the scene was "truly astonishing".
"You did not attempt to render any assistance to Mr Ryan," he said.
"That is heartless and inhumane."
She denied knowing Ryan, implicating her own cousin was the person who stabbed Mr Ryan.
The court heard Mr Ryan had been living with Mitchell but was in the process of moving out and into a Yeppoon address.
On October 4, 2017, Mitchell had gone to the beach about 10am with family and friends, including her cousin Steven Mann, to fish, socialise and drink alcohol.
About midday, Mr Ryan attended a Yeppoon address to collect a knife he had left there and told a witness he was going to see Mitchell.
A witness said Mr Ryan was "off his head".
About 2pm, Mr Ryan arrived at the beach where Mitchell was but stayed back from her group initially.
A member of Mitchell's group approached Mr Ryan to ask him what he wanted and Mr Ryan started yelling at Mitchell about where his property was. She replied it was at the back of her place.
Mr Ryan yelled he was going to get his property and 20 minutes later, Mitchell followed accompanied by Mr Mann.
When they arrived at the units, Mr Mann heard noises coming from the back and went to inspect.
Mr Mann and Mr Ryan ended up on the ground in a fight in front of the garage at the back until Mr Mann felt he had been cut and discovered he was bleeding from his left cheek and bottom lip.
Mr Mann went into the unit and washed his face before sitting at the kitchen table while trying to stop the bleeding.
Police later found a knife matching the description of the one Mr Ryan had picked up earlier that day at the back of the units.
At some point during or after the struggle in the back, Mitchell armed herself with a knife and approached Mr Ryan while Mr Mann was inside the unit.
Mr Mann told police he saw Mitchell's arm move in a stabbing motion towards Mr Ryan before she returned to the unit and said "I think I just killed him".
The pair smoked marijuana until police arrived.
Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco said his client was sober at the time of the stabbing.
He said she had been approached by a man who was drunk or high on drugs who had attacked her cousin unprovoked.
The court heard Mr Mann was tackled by Mr Ryan from behind but quickly got the upper hand on Mr Ryan.
"She became embroiled in circumstances that were not of her making where a man was attacking her cousin," Mr Lo Monaco said.
He said there was a significant factor that had changed her life - the birth of her daughter, now 16 months old.
Mr Lo Monaco said she had been allowed to keep her baby with her in prison and had done a parenting course.
Mitchell had an eight page criminal record containing 16 court proceedings for 48 offences of which nine were violence offences and she had been to prison five times prior to the manslaughter of Mr Ryan.
She entered the plea of guilty to the manslaughter and six summary offences on February 14, 2020.
Her criminal record included being a co-offender in a violent home invasion she carried out with Mr Ryan on January 4, 2013. Read more here: Boy, 14, home alone when couple trashed house
Mitchell is a serial offender for assaulting and obstructing police along with assaulting watch house staff and corrections officers.
Once, she climbed an eight metre high fence and stole $1500 alcohol
"The offending is relevant because it shows that for a long period of time you have resorted to violence" Justice Crow said.
"You have no regard to police or other authority
"It is truly troubling."
He said while Mr Ryan had a criminal record and "a massive problem with drugs", he "was still a human being".
Justice Crow ordered Mitchell to a 9.5 year prison term and declared 693 days presentence custody.
He did not set parole eligibility and explained he was leaving it to the statutory regulation of half of the prison term.