Supreme Court trial
Monday, 5th February, 2018
By Michael Murphy
A Broken Hill woman is scheduled to stand trial in the Supreme Court this week over the stabbing death of 57-year-old man more than two years ago.
Jonda Rhani Stephen, 50, is charged with the manslaughter of David Tiffin, who died after suffering a knife wound to his heart at a Chloride Street house on October 5, 2015.
Ms Stephen was originally charged with murder, but that was dismissed at a committal hearing last year.
At that hearing, Magistrate Darryl Pearce said the case was “unique as almost all of the evidence centred on the version given by the accused”.
He said he did not believe - based on all the evidence that he had before him - that Ms Stephen had intended to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm on Mr Tiffin, and he discharged her of murder.
“The issue of self defence looms large in this case,” the magistrate told the court, adding that the prosecution had not negated that defence in the evidence presented to the court.
But he said that a jury should examine whether the act of stabbing Mr Tiffin was a “reasonable response”, and he committed Ms Stephen to stand trial on the charge of manslaughter.
Ms Stephen’s lawyer had earlier told the court that Mr Tiffin had committed a series of brutal and frightening acts against Ms Stephen prior to his death.
Ms Stephen remained on bail pending this week’s hearing at the Broken Hill Court House.
The trial is scheduled to last five days.