Alva Dodd, 41, stabbed her mother Ruth (pictured) to death on January 2, 2015.
Alva Dodd, 41, stabbed her mother Ruth (pictured) to death on January 2, 2015.

A woman who killed her mother could be out of jail in months

A WOMAN who killed her mother by stabbing her in the neck with a knife will be eligible for parole in February.

Alva Dodd, 41, stabbed her mother Ruth, 71, an active community member and volunteer to death in her Heatley home on January 2, 2015 about 11.30am.

Crown Prosecutor Andrew Walklate told the court Dodd, who was drug affected, was arguing with Ruth about a phone when she used a knife she had taken from her and plunged it into her mum's neck, partly severing an artery.

After she killed her mother, Dodd dropped the knife and had a shower. She then took her mother's keys, drove to someone's home and told them she had "taken care" of one of her problems.

She said she needed to return to the home to clean the "stinking" mess, calling her mother a "f****** c***".

Bruises and abrasions were found on the side of Ruth's neck, with Dodd later saying she had also strangled her.

Mr Walklate said Dodd had expressed remorse a few months later saying she "loved her mother" and thought daily of the blood spurting out.

 

Ruth Dodd was a dedicated fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Ruth Dodd was a dedicated fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

 

Dodd was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in Townsville Supreme Court on Tuesday.

She has served nearly five years in pre-sentence custody and will be eligible for parole on February 1, 2020.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter on August 21 this year.

Justice David North said Dodd's moral culpability was diminished because of her mental health illness and drug abuse at the time of the killing, when drawing upon findings made by the Mental Health Court.

"The killing that I've spoken of is very serious … there is a risk if you resort to your old ways and take dangerous drugs, if you fail to follow the advice of your treating mental health professionals, you may slip back into an active illness," Justice North said.

"And thereby be a risk to others who are close to you."

The court heard Dodd had voluntarily engaged in rehabilitative programs while in prison and had abstained from drug use.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said his client is "extremely remorseful" and had come from an "unfortunate childhood" with a level of antagonism between the mother and daughter.

Mr Walters said Dodd had been "hooked" onto drugs at a young age when she was taken advantage of by a much older man.

Family friend Dolly Szemyeri and Mervyn Dodd, father of Alva Dodd, leave court.
Family friend Dolly Szemyeri and Mervyn Dodd, father of Alva Dodd, leave court.

Outside court, Dodd's father and former partner of Ruth, Mervyn Dodd said it was "hard to come to terms with" his daughter's "tragic" offending.

"She's my daughter, I supported her and I'm just happy with the outcome," he said.

"Alva's been through a lot, she's had a lot of mental health support, it's just trying to move on and we just got to do the best."

Ruth volunteered at Reef HQ over 18 years - the most anyone had ever given the ­organisation and was a dedicated fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

 

*For 24-hour domestic violence support  call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 



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