January 22, 2021

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Adelaide man who stabbed daughter to death sentenced to life

3 min read
<p>Petrit Lekaj, 49, had confronted his daughter, Sabrina, in her car over her partying and drug use in the lead-up to the July 2019 attack.</p>

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, had confronted his daughter, Sabrina, in her car over her partying and drug use in the lead-up to the July 2019 attack.

Supreme Court Justice Trish Kelly handed him a life sentence with the mandatory minimum 20-year non-parole period.

Petrit Lekaj has pleaded guilty to his daughter's murder.

Justice Kelly said his reaction 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."


Ms Lekaj was found dead in her car near the family's suburban Kidman Park property, while her father was treated in hospital for several self-inflicted stab wounds.

His wife - Sabrina Lekaj's mother - made no comment as she left court.

The Supreme Court previously heard Lekaj brought a kitchen knife into his car to stab Sabrina over her alleged partying and recreational drug use.

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.

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," Mr Sale said.

The court heard Lekaj expected severe punishment and told a psychologist that he "deserved to be in hell" for his crime.

The Adelaide student's body was found inside a car.

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.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/adelaide-father-petrit-lekaj-jailed-for-at-least-20-years-for-stabbing-murder-of-daughter/6a404c66-7f5d-4510-9597-3d275386b55f

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