Dad jailed for daughter’s stabbing murder
An Adelaide man who killed his 20-year-old daughter by stabbing her eight times in a fit of rage will spend at least 20 years behind bars.
Petrit Lekaj, 49, murdered his daughter, Sabrina, in their car last July.
Supreme Court Justice Trish Kelly today sentenced him to life behind bars with the mandatory minimum 20-year non-parole period.
The judge said his reaction to his daughter's partying and recreational drug use was "ironic" given he had previously spent more than four years in jail for drug trafficking.
"It seems clear enough from the evidence before me that the insolence of your daughter that day and her response to your distress and anger incensed you and you lost your temper to the point where you stabbed her eight times," she said.
"In those few moments you simultaneously destroyed your life as well as Sabrina's.
"You will have to live with those consequences for the rest of your life."
His wife - Sabrina Lekaj's mother - made no comment as she left court.
The court last week heard Sabrina was repeatedly stabbed by her father in a confrontation.
Defence counsel Ben Sale said his client got into the vehicle with his daughter to purchase takeaway food and planned to confront her about her behaviour.
"There was a realisation that the daughter, who was the apple of his eye, had been lying to him, living another life with friends that involves the use of drugs," Mr Sale said.
Justice Kelly noted Lekaj was previously jailed for dealing heroin in 1994, and was convicted and fined for possessing cannabis in 2007, and cultivating cannabis crops in 2009.
Lekaj admitted to taking a 15-centimetre knife from the kitchen before entering the car with the intention of scaring Sabrina when he confronted her.
Mr Sale said Lekaj, who had suffered from some mental health issues, had trouble comprehending his own actions following the murder.
"However furious and enraged the prisoner was, he quickly came to his senses and tried to take his own life with five stab wounds to his chest and slash wounds to his wrist," Mr Sale said.
The court heard Lekaj expected severe punishment and told a psychologist that he "deserved to be in hell" for his crime.
But prosecutor Melissa Wilkinson told the court Lekaj produced the knife from his pants and stabbed Sabrina without first trying to scare her.
"She screams and tries to get out of the vehicle, kicking the window and trying to escape her father," Ms Wilkinson said.
"He responds by physically restraining his daughter, gets out the car and sits behind her, further restraining her and stabbing her seven more times.
"He did not offer to save her or render aid and there was a telephone in the car and was near a hospital nearby."
A post-mortem report found Sabrina Lekaj died from a combination of blood loss and strangulation.