Melbourne Man Jailed For Stabbing His Partner To Death In Front Of Their Children
A man who killed his partner while in the grip of a prescription drug-induced psychosis has been sentenced to 18 years jail.
Daniel Eckersley woke up on the morning of July 7, 2018 and started manically destroying the kitchen of his Cranbourne North home. Then, he reached for a kitchen knife and started stabbing the mother of his three children, Amanda Harris.
“While you were stabbing Miss Harris, your son pulled your hand to try to stop the attack... but you fly kicked him into the door,” said sentencing judge John Champion.
Eckersley then set fire to the couple’s house, and left Amanda Harris to die face down on the floor.
He gathered their three children and the family dog and broke into a friend’s home, where he burned his clothes and watched television.
“Meanwhile, you told your son and elder daughter not to tell anyone that Miss Harris was dead, or that you’d stabbed her,” said Justice Champion.
Eckersley was arrested at his friend’s property, but proved unfit for interview.
A forensic psychiatrist found he was in a drug induced psychosis caused by the overuse of Tramadol.
“He reported there is a very tight relationship between your psychosis and the offence,” said Justice Champion.
“He said that such a reaction to Tramadol was rare, but nonetheless recognised.”
Eckersley had started using the drug after suffering a knee injury.
Medical records showed he was prescribed the pain killer 120 times across a two year period and often took up to 800 milligrams a day -- 300 milligrams more than the daily maximum.
Today, 40-year-old Eckersley was sentenced to 18 years jail, but could walk free in 12.
“In committing this offence, you have deprived your children of both their mother, but also of you,” said Justice Champion.
“Your actions have destroyed your own family.”
Miss Harris’ mother wailed when the sentence was delivered, and as Eckersley was marched from the courtroom she yelled, “You bastard! You’re nothing but a mongrel!”.
Justice Champion will send a copy of the sentence to the Victorian Coroner, so she can examine whether GPs should be made aware of the rare side effects of Tramadol abuse.