Melbourne, Sept 21: A 32-year-old Indian-origin woman in Australia was today sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail for brutally murdering her Indian boyfriend's new fiancee in a jealous rage in 2013.
The court in New South Wales announced the jail term for Manisha Patel to a maximum of 24 years and she will be eligible for parole in August 2031, according to media reports.
The court was told that, Patel and Niraj Dave, both from Gujarat, had met on an Indian matrimonial website in August 2011.
Both were living together but in the middle of a distressing time for Patel, Dave told her about a new woman in his life, Purvi Joshi, who was moving from India to Sydney to become his wife.
"It was horrible that 28-year-old Joshi had come to Australia with so much hope and excitement about her new life only to find herself waking up to a brutal attack upon her," Justice Wilson said.
In July 2013, Patel went to the flat and fatally stabbed Joshi as she lay in bed, while Dave was working on a night shift as a security guard at Sydney Airport. "Joshi had become the focus of (Patel's) resentment.
She unknowingly walked into a psycho-drama not of her own making," Justice Helen Wilson said.
"It was pain and resentment that led to Patel's decision to murder Joshi," Wilson added.
Purvi's body was found hours later by her fiance, Dave. She had suffered bruising to her neck, her face was swollen and a knife was sticking out of her stomach, it reported.
Two days after killing Joshi, Patel stabbed herself in a bid to fake an assault on her by 'two masked men' to throw off the murder investigation, the court was told.
Patel moved from India to Australia in 2008 to be with a man her family had arranged for her to marry, but that marriage broke up and she met Dave online.
"She was a stranger in a strange land, her marriage had failed...she had undergone the tragedy of a termination and for all her claims in her evidence that Dave meant nothing to her, he was of crucial importance," Justice Wilson said.
The judge said Joshi's death was a serious example of murder, and that defensive injuries showed there had been violent struggle.