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  • Mary Freeman (right), Douglas Eustace (left) (Channel 7)
41 year old Mary Freeman was viciously stabbed 12 times in a frenzied attack by her husband of less than four months, in January 2017. Her husband-turned-killer was an Indian national, who today was sentenced to 25 years in jail, with a minimum of 20 years in prison.
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26 Mar 2019 - 4:52 PM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2019 - 5:09 PM

As SBS Punjabi reported earlier, 44-year-old Douglas Derick Eustace had repeatedly stabbed his wife Mary Freeman in their Hallam home, in Melbourne’s southeast.  This occurred late in the night of the Australia Day public holiday of 2017.

Police attended the crime scene at 12:40am on January 27 and paramedics tried in vain to revive Ms Freeman, who was soon pronounced as deceased.

Eustace handed himself in at the Dandenong police station later. He was charged with one count of murder, to which he entered a guilty plea in September 2018.

In sentencing Eustace today, Supreme Court Justice Lesley Ann Taylor described his actions as “brutal and utterly senseless”.

"You killed her in a frenzied knife attack in the bedroom of your shared home," she said during the sentencing.

"No woman should fear or suffer physical harm because her partner loses his temper," she added.

Eustace will be deported to India, once he serves his sentence. He has already served 423 days in detention during the pre-sentencing period.

Ms Freeman and Mr Eustace were only recently married, after they first met each other in October last year.

Eustace was visiting Melbourne on a holiday when he met her for the first time and proposed to her within a few weeks.

They married soon thereafter, after which they lived together in their Hallam home.

In December 2018, Ms Freeman’s 16-year-old daughter had tearfully presented a victim impact statement to the court, saying to Eustace, “I can’t call you a man.”

Weeping, she said,The person my mother was supposed to trust was just a façade."

"My mum could forgive anyone. She could have forgiven even you.”

"You deserve the same amount of pain she felt when you killed her and I hope you have to live with it forever, just like we do."

If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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THE ENEMY WITHIN (English version)

It's believed that one in three Australian women will be a victim of family violence at some time in her life. It's a complex and distressing issue, and cuts across all social and ethnic groups.However several horrific cases in the Australian Indian community have been widely reported in recent months, raising questions about the prevalence of domestic violence in the Indian community specifically.Do cultural practices such as arranged marriage, the joint family and dowry systems have an impact on the family violence in the Australian Indian community?And do new migrants to Australia have different perceptions of what constitutes family violence? SBS Punjabi Executive Producer Manpreet K Singh set out to answer these and many more questions in The Enemy Within, a special report on family violence in Australia's Indian community. Here is the English version of the feature which was originally produced in Punjabi. For legal reasons some names have been changed and some voices have been altered, so that the victims can't be identified. And a warning, the report contains material that may be distressing to some listeners.