Darryn James Rosanowski
From the Christchurch Press 12th March 2005
Darryn Rosanowski will serve at least 18 years jail for the savage slaying of his love rival and kidnap of his former partner and four children. Rosanowski broke into the house his former partner shared with Darryn McRobert, slashed and stabbed him more than 70 times with a knife and a cut-throat razor while yelling: "That will teach you for taking my family." Rosanowski, 38, then smeared the dying man's blood on the face of the woman they both loved and kidnapped her and her four children, holding them captive for a day until the Armed Offenders Squad ambushed the car in which he was fleeing with them to a remote North Canterbury farm.
Justice Fogarty told the High Court in Christchurch that a particular concern was that the attack on January 31 last year was "eerily similar" to another Rosanowski committed after another relationship break-up 10 years earlier. In 1994, Rosanowski was sentenced to four years jail by a High Court judge in Invercargill for arming himself with a sawn-off rifle, breaking into the home of his former partner and her new man, and holding them hostage for more than three hours. He claimed his actions were motivated by concern for his son. Prosecutor Mark Zarifeh said the earlier offending showed Rosanowski's proclivity to act in a violent and abusive way when his relationships failed, making him a risk to whoever he might form a new relationship with when he emerges from jail.
However, His Honour rejected Zarifeh's call for preventive detention, an indefinite sentence reserved for the worst offenders, but only because Rosanowski will be close to 60 before he is released from jail. Although he said Rosanowski will pose a "clear risk" if a relationship after he is eventually released from jail goes sour, at that age the risk was not sufficient to justify preventive detention. Instead he imposed an 18-year non-parole period for the murder and 12 years jail for the "nightmare" kidnapping. Throughout the sentencing, the woman kidnapped by Rosanowski had tears streaming down her face and had to leave the room on several occasions.
Outside court, she said she and her four young children would bear the consequences of the murder and kidnapping for the rest of their lives."No amount of jail could change what's happened," she said. "The kids are getting better slowly but they'll need lots of treatment and therapy to get through it. It's hard for kids to reason with anything, let alone something, anything, as horrific as that. "I don't know if I'll ever move on but it's been a relief today. It's a big weight off my shoulders. My children and I have waited a long time for today." The officer in charge of the case, Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Long, described the sentence as "appropriate" but made a plea for more courses and programmes to be available to those undergoing relationship breakdowns.
"These sort of crimes are happening all too frequently," he said. "I'm sure there are crimes that have been prevented by the inf- luence of agencies offering support to people having difficult dealing with relationship breakdowns." In court, Richard Peters, defend- ing, said Rosanowski had written a letter of apology and a psychiatric report suggested he had the ability to change his tendency to react violently and jealously to relation- ship breakdowns, making preven- tive detention unnecessary. His Honour said Rosanowski faced a minimum non-parole period of 17 years because the murder had involved a home invasion and be- cause of the brutality of the killing. Peters did not seek to persuade the court that 17 years was manifestly unjust and he would have had "no show" of doing so, his Honour said.
In the dock, Rosanowski said: "Can I persuade you, then?" His Honour replied: "No, you can not." The question was whether it should be longer, given the premeditation involved in the killing and the weapons the evidence at trial showed Rosan- owski had carried to the scene. Rosanowski disputed the premeditation and that he carried the weapons but was told by the judge to be quiet or he would be removed from court and be sentenced in his absence. "You walked over 2km to her home, having on the evidence armed yourself with a knife and a cut-throat razor, went inside and stabbed and slashed McRobert, who suffered 70 cuts and blows." the judge said. "This is the second time you've kidnapped a former partner following domestic up- heaval and the facts of this case are eerily similar to events that took place a decade ago."
He described the latest kidnap- ping as about as serious as it was possible to imagine. "You put a knife to your former partner's throat, confined her in your presence while you murdered McRobert, took her from your house at knifepoint, and spent the best part of a day together with her young children. "It's a nightmare scenario for a woman and it's hard to imagine more terrifying circumstances for a mother." As Rosanowski was led down to the cells, he sneered at his former partner and called her a "f... ing bitch". She had been facing away from him but turned back and said: "You got what you deserved, you piece of s..."
Date of Birth
Murdered Christchurch man Darryn McRobert and abducted his former partner in February 2004
Sentenced to 18 years minimum in March 2005
Earliest possible release date February 2022
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