A MOTHER of six who killed a man she claimed was trying to rape her has been jailed for seven years.
Tracey Kerr, 42, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by a Supreme Court jury.
Kerr, a cook, admitted stabbing Doug Barrett, 65, on May 25, 2012, but told police she did so in self-defence when he tried to rape her about midnight in the bungalow known as Dougie’s Bar behind his Echuca house.
She said this brought back memories of when she was raped as a young girl.
The married Mr Barrett died from a heart attack brought on either by being stabbed in the neck, or from the shock of suffering cuts to his eyes, or from a heart attack brought on by a combination of the injuries.
The Crown contended that Kerr and Mr Barrett had been having an affair and regularly met in the bungalow.
Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth on Thursday said the jury’s verdict meant they were satisfied Kerr had not been acting in self-defence.
"After drinking and dancing and behaving in a friendly manner for many hours, Mr Barrett made a sexual advance towards you," the judge said in jailing Kerr for seven years with a non-parole period of four and a half years.
"You told him to stop. In your extremely intoxicated state, and given your intellectual deficits and past history of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, you over-reacted to the situation and were limited in your ability to generate alternative solutions to the situation you believed you were facing.
"Whatever the precise sequence and manner in which the injuries were inflicted, I accept that they all occurred spontaneously, within a matter of minutes, and at a time when you perceived yourself to be facing a threat of rape."
Justice Hollingworth said she accepted Kerr believed she had to do what she did to defend herself, but there were no reasonable grounds for her to do so.
Victim impact statements from Mr Barrett’s wife of 41 years, Hazel, and the couple’s only daughter, Mandy, showed their tremendous grief and pain at losing him.
Mandy had been heavily pregnant when she learned of her father’s death and was greatly saddened by the thought he did not get to walk her down the aisle or meet his first grandchild.
Justice Hollingworth said Kerr had struggled with alcohol and cannabis addiction throughout her adult life and had been unable to care for her six children, all of whom had been raised by other family members.
Kerr, one of 13 children, had had happy childhood memories until she was brutally raped by a male relative when she was eight years old and had to spend several months in hospital recovering from her injuries.
Not one of her family members visited her while she was in hospital.
Kerr told a psychologist after her arrest that Mr Barrett had called her the most beautiful black woman he had ever seen before trying to rape her.
She told Professor David Wells that Mr Barrett had "tried to undress me".
"Touched me on the boobs, on top of clothes. He kept saying I was beautiful. I was the most beautiful black woman I have seen. Wished he met me years ago. Things he wanted to do to me. I said I really don’t need to hear this."