Man jailed over wife's 'slow, miserable and avoidable death'

| 21.07,18. 01:58 AM |

Man jailed over wife's 'slow, miserable and avoidable death'

Photo: Mohamed Naddaf has been jailed for at least eight years. (AAP: David Crosling)

A Melbourne judge has condemned a father of three for heeding his dying wife's plea not to call an ambulance for fear a government department would take her children.

Ashlee Brown, 25, died in early November 2016, after being "seriously assaulted" and lying on the bathroom floor of her Craigieburn home in Melbourne's north home for four to five days.

Her husband, Mohamed Naddaf, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by criminal negligence for failing to get professional medical help for his wife.

He was sentenced to 11 years in jail on Friday.

Covered in blood 'from head to toe'

"Her death was slow, miserable and avoidable," Justice John Champion told the court during sentencing remarks that lasted an hour.

The court heard Naddaf found his wife covered in blood from "head to toe" in their car inside the garage.

She had multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

She has also suffered stab wounds and extensive bruising.

Her hands had also been tied up.

It was a "deliberate and frenzied assault" on Ms Brown, Justice Champion said.

But there was "no explanation as to how and in whose hands she was treated so brutally".

Naddaf had taken his wife inside the house, and put her in the bathroom where he treated her wounds and gave her medicine and water over a number of days.

In a record of interview, Naddaf told police he said to his wife "you're gonna die baby, you're gonna die" when she told him not to call for help.

But Naddaf's response, Justice Champion said, was "pathetically weak" and showed a "gross lack of respect" for his wife who "was vulnerable … and you owed her a duty of care".

"Ms Brown entreated you not to call the ambulance because the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) might get involved and take the children away from the family," Justice Champion said.

Naddaf found 'hugging' his dead wife

"There were a number of problems in the house at the time," he said.

The court heard DHHS had twice been alerted to issues within the family — in 2013 and 2016.

Justice Champion said photos taken by investigators showed the house was "unkempt and dirty" and they found dirty nappies lying around.

At the time the children were aged three years, two years and six months.

The court heard that when Naddaf finally called an ambulance, Ms Brown was already dead, despite Naddaf attempting CPR.

The court heard the paramedics found him "hugging her" while her his two-year-old daughter was also in the bathroom.

"I am at a loss to understand why you acted in the way you did".

Justice Champion said it would have been easy for Naddaf to simply pick up the telephone and get help.

"You left her … to deteriorate and die before your own eyes and those of your children," he said.

The court heard Naddaf had not inflicted the violence but there was "passive inaction".

He must serve a minimum of eight years in jail before he is eligible for parole.


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