Kirralee Paepaerei was pregnant when murdered in 2015.When Kylee D’Ugo’s phone rang early on the morning of September 22, 2015 she thought one of her sisters was calling to wish her happy birthday.
Instead, she was told her heavily pregnant sister, Kirralee Paepaerei, was dead.
Ms D’Ugo broke down as she read out her victim impact statement in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday during a sentence hearing for her sibling’s murderer.
Joshua Homann, 40, was found guilty in March, having stabbed his 37-year-old partner nearly 50 times at their western Sydney townhouse. The attack also resulted in the death of their unborn child.
Ms D’Ugo said the telephone call changed her life forever.
“Not only was my sister gone but my (unborn) niece was gone as well,” she said.
“The pain I feel, the emptiness I have inside, that will never go away.”
Ms D’Ugo said Ms Paepaerei was not just her sister but her best friend and advisor whose “infectious laugh” could brighten a person’s day.
She said she would never forgive Homann.
“You have destroyed me and my family beyond repair.”
While Homann had not denied causing his partner’s death, his lawyer had told the jurors the case was about mental illness, rather than domestic violence or drug use.
He sat with head bowed as victim impact statements from eight family members were read out on Friday.
Ms Paepaerei’s mother, Joyce D’Ugo, said hating Homann since her daughter’s death had been “draining her life”.
However she said hearing him lie during his trial had released that hate.
“I realised you are not worth the energy to hate you,” she said.
The distraught mother, wearing a shirt with a picture of Ms Paepaeri on it, said her daughter had been her “strength in life” and had a “heart of gold”.
“Kirralee was so loved,” she said.
Homann will be sentenced on May 25.
National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple zero.
Australian Associated Press